Copyright: Spinster Cardigan/Flickr
Copyright: Spinster Cardigan/Flickr

The new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is both terrifying and heartbreaking. There is no doubt we are causing climate breakdown. Some damage to our planet is now irreversible, at least within our lifetimes, according to the work of thousands of researchers. We can avoid the worst, but we’re at a real turning point.

The Prime Minister called this “sobering reading”. I hope it does help him and others come to their senses and see the emergency that scientists, campaigners and indeed most British people have been shouting about for many years.

In less than three months the UK government will host COP26, potentially the most important climate summit ever. Is this government ready to lead the world and drive a global agreement to cut carbon emissions to ‘net zero’? I hope so. I truly want them to exceed every expectation. This is far beyond party politics.

Yet ministers still seem to support new coal mines and oilfields in the UK. This is not good enough. Unless the Tories rapidly step up, they’ll find it hard to convince others to do the same. I will continue to use my regular speaking slots in Parliament, as Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, to push the government to do more – before it is too late.

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