The climate crisis is the single greatest long-term challenge we face, and it requires us to act decisively in this next crucial decade.
I therefore echo calls for greater action from the Government, including on issues such as escalating the protection of nature at home and abroad, increasing financial support for vulnerable countries, and securing millions of green jobs in the UK, as well as keeping fossil fuels in the ground.
Unfortunately, I am concerned that the Government is failing to deliver the scale of action we need. The Climate Change Committee’s recent progress report to Parliament reiterated what has been clear for some time now: that there remains a massive gap between the emissions reduction targets the Government has committed to and the policies currently in place to achieve them.
As the Committee further highlighted, with every month of inaction, it becomes harder for us to get back on track to reaching net zero in time to help keep global average temperature rises to 1.5°C.
I am therefore determined that, with COP26 approaching, the UK must show global leadership on this issue. I believe we should aim to achieve the substantial majority of our emissions reductions by 2030, make climate justice a priority, both in the UK and abroad, and take action to accelerate the benefits of nature restoration and recovery.
I have written to COP26 President, Alok Sharma, and called on the UK to lead the fight against climate change at COP26. I have posted a copy of this letter below for you to see.
With so much at stake, we cannot afford any more complacency, inaction and lack of direction when it comes to the climate emergency. I can assure you that I will continue to support calls for the Government to do what is needed to protect us from the greatest long-term threat we face and to realise the huge benefits that the transition to net zero promises.
For example, my Opposition Colleagues and I will continue to advocate for a Green Economic Recovery, which would urgently bring forward an ambitious stimulus package of capital investment to help support the creation of up to 400,000 new low-carbon jobs over the next 18 months to rebuild from the pandemic and decarbonise our economy at the same time.