Picture of the Earth disintegrating
Picture of the Earth disintegrating

I am sure you will join my Labour party colleagues and me in support of Sue Hayman MP, who is calling for climate change to be given the status of a ‘national emergency’, which means that it will put more pressure on government ministers to move Britain towards becoming carbon neutral before any more damage is done to the Earth.  A recent report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated that we only had 12 years to nearly half CO2 emissions before there is a significant risk of more flooding, more wildfires and unfortunately, death.  The Government needs to get a handle on this problem now, before we head towards irreversible damage.

The move to call the emergency came after dozens of councils made similar suggestions to the Labour Party, and after courageous youngsters and school children across the country left their classrooms in order to protest against the Government on climate change.  Primary school children went with parents in their droves, holding up signs such as “Climate change boo”, whilst others held placards with messages such as “the greatest threat to the planet is the belief someone else will save it”.  Scarily enough, these children are right, we do not have another planet to inhabit. This is our chance to save our planet and the door is closing on this opportunity.  Do not become complacent and think we should leave it to future generations to sort out the mess we have made, it is morally wrong.

The Environment Minister, Theresa Coffey has since responded, saying that her party was “already ahead of the game”, pointing to last year’s 25-year environment plan as evidence.  This plan includes eliminating all avoidable waste by 2050 and all avoidable plastic waste by the end of 2042.  However this has faced much criticism due to the lack of substantial legislation behind it, which essentially points to the Conservatives being all talk and no action.  In addition to this, the Conservative Party is actively attempting to undermine its own ambitions to do anything substantial on climate change, including, but not limited, to cutting and ending subsidies for electric and hybrid cars whilst promoting drilling and fracking.  This is a shocking double standard by a party that claims to want to protect the Earth, but then seeks to help to line the pockets of the petrochemical industry.  It shall only get worse after Brexit when the EU’s environmental protections are gone.  However, I shall campaign to make sure these people are, and always will be held to account.

The Paris Climate Change Agreement in 2015 was seen as a turning point for climate change.  Nations of the Earth came together with the commitment to limit global warming to 1.5C and 2C above pre-industrial levels.  This, whilst achievable now, has taken a significant downturn due to the United States pulling out and Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil proposing to chop down swathes of the Amazon.  It does appear gloomy and the Climate Coalition has warned we will need to eliminate emissions by 2050, but support from the Conservatives and with a cross-party opposition all joining together, we can finally start to tackle climate change and save our Earth.
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