Tackling climate change is an environmental and economic necessity. I believe we need a strong global agreement at the UN Climate Summit in Paris; and climate change should be a key priority for the new Sustainable Development Goals.
The previous Labour Government had a proud record in this area. For example, it led the world to agree the Millennium Development Goals and introduced the Climate Change Act, which enshrined the world's first legally binding emissions reduction targets.
I am concerned the current Government is showing a lack of ambition on climate change and, in fact, is damaging jobs and investment in the green economy. I believe its decision to end subsidies for new onshore wind farms in the UK and cut support for solar power shows a lack of commitment to tackling climate change at home and will undermine the UK's ability to push for a strong global deal. I also believe the Government's decision to scrap the Green Deal shows that its approach to energy efficiency has failed. In addition, I am concerned about the Government’s obfuscation on fracking in national parks and other environmentally sensitive areas. I oppose fracking in the UK and will be sure to hold the Government to account on their plans in the months ahead.
I believe the transition to a low carbon economy can create jobs and growth and the UK Government must show leadership on clean energy at home and international leadership, especially in Europe, to push for ambitious emissions targets for all countries, strengthened every 5 years on the basis of a scientific assessment of progress made towards limiting a global temperature rise to below 2°C. To support this I believe that Britain needs a legally binding target to take carbon out of our electricity supply by 2030.
I have written to the Energy Secretary, Amber Rudd, on more than one occasion to express my concern over the Government’s lack of commitment to green issues and to ask for clarification on a number of related matters. You can read the written questions I have submitted, along with the answers I received, on TheyWorkForYou.
Before I was elected, my campaign slogan was ‘Jobs, Equality and Sustainability’. Tackling climate change is such a priority for me because in doing so we can engage these goals in unison. I will continue to press the Government to support a low-carbon economy in the UK and to push for the best possible global deal on reducing emissions.