Tackling the climate emergency and biodiversity crisis are top priorities for people in Bristol West and the highest priorities for me as your MP. Tackling the emergency is vital for our long-term future but also helps with building the sustainable economy with good jobs for people in Bristol and beyond. It also means creating a better way to live – having homes which are climate resilient, for example, means having better health and lower bills. Taking care of biodiversity means a more pleasant atmosphere and environment for us to enjoy – something we’ve all learned more about this last year.
Much of this does not need new laws – much of the progress of the last two decades has come from individuals, organisations and local and national government taking decisions to do things differently. But dealing with this emergency will take massive structural change and investment. So far, the government’s leadership has been insufficient. It’s part of my job, as your representative, to push them, to demonstrate alternatives and put forward improvements to their current decisions and to campaign with you for urgency.
I’ve used every opportunity, including in my recent role as Shadow Housing Secretary, in my current role as Shadow Leader of the House and also whip for Labour’s environment team to push the government and develop the proposals we need. I’m proud that alongside campaigners, we in Labour successfully pushed the government to adopt a net zero target after years of resisting this. I’m disappointed that they are not acting as speedily as I believe is necessary but I know that keeping up the pressure can and will make a difference. I’ll use my prominent Parliamentary role and media opportunities to do this.
This is an important year for the climate, as world leaders are set to meet in Glasgow for the COP26 summit.
I am planning to hold several events across the city to discuss the climate emergency and what you want the government to do about it – the first large public event will be on 27 July. Watch this space for more details coming soon!