Laurel Spooner and Jill Bruce are climate change campaigners trying to make Colchester a cleaner and greener place.

Every nation in the world has different geography, resources, technology and politics.

Change is driven by different priorities. For example, as there is only one Great Barrier Reef in the world, Australia is the country pioneering ways to protect it.

Home to 15,000 species of fish, it also creates jobs for 64,000 people and is a precious natural wonder visited by 2 million tourists a year.

The problem is the coral has been devastated in recent years by heat induced death.

As it warms up the algae living in partnership with the coral are driven out and without them the coral dies.

So necessity has created technologies like spraying fine particles of chalk onto the sea surface, or spraying seawater in the sky to create clouds to shade it.

But though it is desperately important to save the Great Barrier Reef it is a casualty of climate warming not a cause.

How are we doing with tackling those?

We know transport is a major contributor and that electric cars do not dirty fossil fuel.

Once the electricity charging their batteries and used in their manufacture is also from renewable sources they will be truly green transport.

Where are we on with this? Where city mass transport is concerned it is promising news.

Birmingham introduced its first battery operated tram last year. Batteries mean no need for overhead lines, making them much cheaper to install.

Cambridge already has plans underway for battery operated trams with no tracks and no overhead cables.

Could this be the answer to Colchester’s air pollution problems?

There is Government funding available so we should ask our councillors to look into it.

The UK isn’t banning new petrol and diesel cars for another 21 years (2040), but Paris is banning them from 2030.

Astonishingly they were banned from March 1 in the Chinese province of Hainan.

Closer to home, 30 per cent of new car sales in Norway are electric vehicles, so we are falling behind and will continue to unless our politicians focus on passing effective legislation and investing wisely.

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Even so, good news because Gridserve, a green energy company, is investing £1 billion to create a network of 100 solar powered ultra-fast electric vehicle chargers across UK motorways over the next five years, with work starting in York and Hull this year.

Taxis, buses and delivery vehicles will be able to charge up in under 30 minutes at forecourts and cars in less than 10 minutes.

Being realistic, even if all governments achieve their Paris Agreement commitments the world will probably warm by 3°C by 2100 - twice the 1.5°C limit of the Paris Agreement and there will still be some catastrophic changes.

To see how much movement there has been in the right direction for every nation do a Google Search for Climate Action Tracker which follows the 32 countries that make up 80 per cent of all the world’s emissions.

But we could certainly do better and there are best practice examples galore we can adopt.

We just need to get on with it and now.

Jill Bruce

Women’s Institute climate change ambassador

Lets talk about emissions 

Emissions are expected to “mushroom” over the next 30 years pushing us past the point where we can manage climate change.

Many people feel the situation to be hopeless.

I don’t. My view is we must help developing countries survive it rather than sit back in defeat.

Of course, the pot must not call the kettle black.

We have to rein in our own emissions as fast as we can by making the right lifestyle choices and using the technologies Jill and I have been writing about in the last four months.

Morally we cannot begrudge developing nations wanting the same prosperity, education and life expectancy that we enjoy.

Actually, the sooner they achieve it the better because it is the best way to reduce birth rates which are still very high across most of the poorest continent, Africa.

Crucially, rather than industrialising with fossil fuels, particularly coal which is the dirtiest of all, we should help them to switch.

Switching fuel from coal to gas halves harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

This is the recommended first step.

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Next is to accelerate the use of clean energy sources.

Luckily many of the poorest countries are the sunniest and any solar panel will be happier there than here!

UN scientists tell us the world population will grow on current trends from 6.8 billion today to 10 billion in 2100.

With lower birth rates as poverty reduces, it may top out at under 9 billion.

Even so, scientists predict the world will not have enough surface area to feed us so there could be mass starvation.

We can take action to avoid this now.

We waste about 30 per cent of the food produced worldwide and another 20 per cent would be saved for the hungry if the 30 per cent of overweight people ate only what they needed to stay healthy.

The crunch is will come when we run out of land for food production.

Thankfully developing nations need not chop down their remaining forests, which of course would worsen global warming, if we share new sustainable ways to produce food for a mainly vegetarian diet.

Eco farming methods produce much less carbon emissions than the industrial farming model we use now though yields are 10 per cent less.

Already urban farming with food grown on walls and roofs, hydroponics (no soil or sunlight involved) and underground farms with LEDs and carbon dioxide enriched atmospheres are taking off.

Meat has already been grown in the lab, though it cost hundreds of times more than a truffle!

What we urgently need (but industry resists) is legislation to reduce unnecessary processing of food and the addition of fats and sugars.

It wastes food, is carbon intense and bad for us.

I for one prefer the pleasure of wholesome fresh and flavoursome food.

Anyone who wants could grow a little for themselves with an Ikea hydroponics kit.

So if you feel despairing about the future, don’t. Get determined instead.

Laurel Spooner

Climate change campaigner