We all need to be part of the change on climate crisis

This weekend I joined Sheffield’s Climate Strikers and Friends of the Earth to discuss the climate emergency that is facing us.

Monday, 23rd September 2019, 4:05 pm
Updated Saturday, 28th September 2019, 8:02 am
Youth for Climate Protest, Sheffield City Centre..Pic Steve Ellis

Climate activism has firmly put climate change back at the heart of the political agenda.

The global nature of groups like Extension Rebellion and the fantastic work of young youth activists like Greta Thurnberg have reinvigorated calls for greater action to reverse the climate crisis we are facing. In particular, young people have shown their resolve in reclaiming their future and calling for action.

Earlier this year, the Labour Party led Parliament in declaring a national climate emergency.

The threats are real yet the Tories in Government have failed to ensure we are making enough progress in dealing with the crisis.

In July 2019, the Committee on Climate Change – the UK’s independent climate adviser – reported that we remain off-course to meet our interim targets for 2023-27 and 2027-32 and that the gap between our emissions reduction goals and the Government’s policies to meet them had increased in the last year. It stated that the Government had only fully delivered one of twenty-five headline policy actions it had recommended in its previous annual progress report.

If progress continues at its current rate, we will not reach net zero until 2099. This is why it is vital to back rhetoric with real and substantive action – this will require huge levels of investment, co-ordinated planning, and significant Government support.

This will require new and innovative ways to transform the way we live our lives – from new and innovative ways to heat homes to an increase in energy efficiency. It will also require us to transform how we travel – both by investing in our public transport infrastructure to ensure every local community is properly served by their local buses and trains and a shift in the way we use private vehicles. There will need to be a real shift towards a wider availability of electric cars to reduce emissions.

That’s why the Labour Party has a comprehensive and bold agenda to tackle the climate crisis.

We know every part of our economy has to be part of the change. That’s why we will invest £250bn over ten years to put our economy on a low-carbon sustainable route. We know a greener economy will provide thousands of good quality jobs for our communities. This is why our plans to a greener economy make both economic and societal science. We will all need to be part of the agenda for change.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

With Labour in Government in power, we will have the backing to make that change happen.