Today I expressed my bewilderment at the government’s continued refusal to declare a climate change emergency.
I am absolutely clear that we are in the midst of a climate change emergency, and I understand the frustration of those who have protested in Bristol and across the country about political inaction to tackle climate change. I have repeatedly spoken up in Parliament over recent months about the imminence of the threat that climate change poses, and the Labour Party have declared a climate change emergency.
So it is utterly baffling to me that – in the light of all the scientific evidence about the effect of climate change – the government will not agree to declare a climate emergency.
Earlier today I heard Greta Thunberg – a 16-year old environmental campaigner from Sweden – describe why she has mobilised young people across the world to demand action on climate change. And I agree with her.
Icecaps are melting now, causing sea levels to rise. This is wiping out habitats and ecosystems, and is threatening the homes and lives of some of the poorest people on the planet.
The minister claimed that she was not prepared to declare a climate emergency without proper actions to provide a solution. It is my contention that if we – as politicians – do not communicate how deadly this threat is to our planet and our way of life, then won’t get any action until it is far, far too late.