The climate and environment emergency
I believe that the climate crisis is the most pressing problem we face. To resolve it, we will all need to make changes in our own lives. But the climate crisis is so big, many aspects of it are beyond the control of individuals or even single countries. We will also need governments around the world to work together and take strong action to reduce the greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. Time is running out.
For these reasons, tackling climate change and environmental degradation is one of my main priorities as a Member of Parliament. You can find a record of my speeches on the topic in Hansard.
Here are my biggest successes in this area:
- Throughout spring 2019 I repeatedly called for Parliament to follow Bristol’s lead and call a climate and environment emergency. In May 2019, MPs voted unanimously to do so.
- In 2019 I called a debate on the valuable contribution of community groups such as Transition Towns Bristol, which have successfully built support for strong government action on climate.
- In 2017 I convened a meeting between Bristol City Council officials and the environment minister, successfully lobbying for £500,000 funding to set up a Clean Air Zone. The Clean Air Zone is planned to come into force from 2021.
- I have called for the government to reinstate the Department of Energy and Climate Change, created by the Brown government in 2008 and dismantled by the Tories.
- I believe the Houses of Parliament should set an example and reduce its own emissions as quickly as possible. I have raised this repeatedly in the House of Commons, as well as speaking in favour of divesting the Parliamentary pension fund from fossil fuels.
- Renewable energy is the key to bringing down the UK’s emissions – and we have an opportunity to be a world leader. I have long argued for the government to invest in cutting-edge infrastructure such as the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon.
- As an MP, I have studied renewable energy as part of a fellowship with the Industry and Parliament Trust.
- Fossil fuels must be phased out as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, the Tory government continues to subsidise these dirty sources of energy. I have pushed for an end to fossil fuel subsidies, and a ban on fracking.