It’s no exaggeration to say that 2020 was a terrible year, and I fervently hope that in 2021 we’ll turn the tide on coronavirus and be able to live freely again. We’re by no means out of the woods, but I believe there are many reasons to be optimistic, on top of the roll-out of Covid vaccines.

The way our communities came together in the darkest of times to support people in need has given me hope for the future. Those networks that were established and strengthened last year are here to stay, and our neighbourhoods are so much better for them.

A recent poll found that only 12% of people in the UK want life to return to ‘exactly as it was before.’ Instead, most of us want to keep the good things that helped us get through the pandemic – the extra hours in the day from not having to commute, the joy of spending more time in nature or with family, and the pleasure of getting to know our neighbours.

A ‘new normal’ that’s good for people will also be good for the planet too. Recognising that, the government has pledged a green recovery. In November it set out a 10-point plan to mobilise £12bn of investment in green jobs and infrastructure, protecting the natural environment, turbo-charging renewable energy and low carbon hydrogen and making our homes warmer. It’s not just the UK that understands the need to invest in a green future. Biden’s victory in the US unleashes a $2 trillion climate plan and a commitment to rejoin the Paris accord.

The UK is hosting the COP26 summit in November this year, bringing the world together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. it’s a huge opportunity to show the world how we’re building a green recovery.

With a government commitment to tackling climate change and the support of resilient and caring communities, it’s my strong belief that we can step into 2021 with a sense of optimism for the future.


This article was first published in the Keynsham Voice – January 2021

Photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash