A funeral for the planet was held in Bishop Auckland yesterday. It was a bit melodramatic, perhaps, but it does send a valuable message: the general public are, by and large, ahead of politicians in their desire to see change.

They recognise that the climate is changing, that action is necessary and they want to play their part in creating a solution. They want the Government to really up its game on everything from new housing to electric cars to recycling to green energy.

They accept that the changes will be expensive, but they’ve also seen a Conservative government conjure up huge sums – quite correctly – to see businesses through a short-term pandemic; surely, securing a long-term future for the planet is worth just as much.

But even if Britain goes totally emission-free over night, it won’t make much difference to the global problem. Carbon emissions are expected to rise next year by a record amount as China brings online more coal-fired power stations – and who can blame it, as it wants the wealth and luxury that we have spent two centuries amassing since the Industrial Revolution?

So next month’s COP26 conference in Glasgow is vital. Our politicians have to be brave at home and persuasive abroad, but there is a groundswell of opinion urging them on.