‘We have to listen to young people on climate change’ - Hove MP
I wrote last month about the climate emergency confronting our planet and my admiration for the thousands of schoolchildren who have joined the climate strikes around the world who are forcing politicians to take notice.
Since then, I’m proud to have joined a youth strike in Brighton where I learned so much - it was clear that the young people had so much to teach the adults about this single most important issue of our time, and I want every young person to know that I’m listening to their wake up call.
I’ve also met activists from Extinction Rebellion and pledged support for their three demands for Government: to tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency; to act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025; and to create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice. I’m totally committed to this and I’ll be doing my best to be an effective voice for these issues in Parliament. It’s unacceptable to let Brexit dominate our entire political agenda and these issues must be heard.
The Labour Party are thinking very seriously too about the radical changes we need to make to halt this crisis. This month, we pledged to ensure that every firm providing goods and services to the public sector puts people and planet before profit. The stakes demand nothing less.
Scrutinising the Government’s actions on climate change and energy policy is a big part of my work on Parliament’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee too. Since I first became a Committee member, I’ve called for the ban on new petrol and diesel cars to be brought forward, championed support for greener vehicles, and challenged the Government’s failure to properly insulate our homes. This month I’ll also be leading a debate in Parliament on electric vehicles, which will be crucial in driving the transition to lower-emissions transport.
Even in these times where the Brexit deadlock and the Tory psychodrama are sucking up all the airtime, I promise I’ll never let these issues fall from the national agenda.