I am standing with the Leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, in calling on this Government to declare a state of climate emergency in the United Kingdom.
We are reaching a critical, potentially irrevocable point with our climate and environment, where urgent and immediate action must be taken to safeguard the world for future generations. Our reliance on fossil fuels, and the significant lobbying power of the petrochemical industry places us in real jeopardy, as sea levels continue to rise and carbon dioxide floods our atmosphere, thinning the ozone layer and causing catastrophic global warming.
The Government and other establishment forces have been quick to criticise the colourful and enthusiastic protests of young people, empowered by the inimitable Greta Thurnberg, as well as the wave of popular support shown during the Extinction Rebellion. However, this just shows how out of touch this Government is with its citizens.
Persistence with oil and gas energies might offer short-term profit, but it is globally recognised that this is neither economically nor environmentally sustainable. We need a Government with the courage to stand up to wealthy lobbying groups and put aside immediate financial interests in favour of the long term future of our planet and economy.
The renewable energy market is just waiting to be unlocked, but it will not happen unless there is substantial and direct investment in the industry. It is no longer a time for idle debate and posturing, but a time for urgent action.