Every twenty minutes through the winter, an elderly person dies as a result of living in a home that just can’t keep the heat in. They are poor pensioners in homes so cold that some spend the whole day wrapped up in bed. But as this winter draws to an end, we can start to tackle this cold killer.
In Europe, only Estonia has more people living in fuel poverty than Britain — it’s a scandal that has been ignored for too long. But with the general election just around the corner, we can finally get a commitment from all major parties to solve our cold homes crisis.
Chancellor Osborne failed to address this silent killer in his latest budget and politicians from other parties are also refusing to commit the finances that are needed.
Let’s end this apathy! When 50,000 of us sign, we’ll deliver the petition with a coalition of charities to urge our leaders to end the crisis that causes thousands of old people to die, simply because they can’t keep warm. Sign now:
Solving this crisis doesn’t require additional public finance. The money has already been pledged in the £100 billion infrastructure fund, we just need home insulation to be prioritised. But without public support, Britain’s sieve-like buildings will get ignored. It’s not a question of whether solving this crisis is possible, it’s a question of how much we care about our most vulnerable.
This isn’t just a problem of chilly toes or the odd extra sniffle: cold homes make people seriously ill and turn manageable conditions like asthma or high blood pressure into life-threatening ones. The elderly are particularly at risk as the cold exacerbates any underlying health conditions they may have.
Solving this cold homes crisis will not only save lives, it will take pressure off our already over-stretched NHS and could play a big role in helping ensure Britain cuts its carbon emissions.
Without a commitment now, we can’t be sure that politicians won’t kick this important decision into the long grass. Sign now and we’ll deliver our call to all major parties before the manifestos go to press, asking them to commit to ending the cold homes crisis:
We’re heading into a general election, the greatest show of democracy where our leaders will be listening carefully to what people want. Together we can use our voices to secure a commitment that puts those most in need first, save households money, create jobs and protect the planet. Now’s our chance — let’s take it!
Sam, Fatima, Andrea, Alex, and the whole Avaaz team.
It is time to end this shameful cold homes crisis (Business Green)
Spend billions insulating homes to save lives, politicians told (Telegraph) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/energy/11382514/Insulate-homes-to-save-lives-politicians-told.html
Death rate rises as cold snap grips UK (Guardian)
Left out in the cold: The reduction in energy efficiency support for UK households (PDF)