- Shadow Environment Secretary Sue Hayman has challenged the Government to declare an environment and climate emergency.
- Announcement follows wave of similar council motions and youth climate school strikes nationwide.
- Michael Gove refused to join Labour’s call.
- Labour says our natural world is in “deep crisis”
Sue Hayman, Member of Parliament for Workington and Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary, yesterday declared a national climate and environment emergency on the floor of the House of Commons and challenged Environment Secretary Michael Gove to do the same.
Labour’s announcement, thought to be the first made by a major political party anywhere in the world, follows a wave of motions passed by around 50 local councils declaring a climate emergency and a call to action to prevent a dangerous rise in global temperatures by radically transforming our economy.
‘Climate Emergency’ is an internationally recognised declaration being used around the world to publicly declare concern over the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) findings. The IPCC’s recent Special Report, describes the enormous harm that a 2°C rise in global temperatures would cause.
Last week, it was revealed that the UK will miss almost all its 2020 nature targets, with 14 out of 19 Aichi biodiversity targets currently not being met by the government.
“The time for soundbites, photo ops and endless consultations from Michael Gove has to end. If he really wants to tackle climate change, why isn’t he or Theresa May addressing the issue by meeting to discuss solutions with the young people striking against climate change? The Leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, has already agreed to a meeting.
“Labour is calling for the House of Commons to declare an environment and climate emergency. Species decline, habitat destruction and climate change are progressing at an alarming rate under this government, risking our food supply, landscapes, infrastructure, and public health.
“We need urgent action to prevent and reverse ecological catastrophe. A Labour government will kick-start a Green Industrial Revolution, with investment in clean transport and energy creating hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country. And we will bring forward a fully-resourced plan for nature to restore and enhance our natural world.
“Even if every individual takes steps to limit their carbon footprint, the planet will continue to warm at a dangerous pace.
“If we are to seriously consider any realistic chance of keeping global temperature below the limit of 1.5 or 2 degrees and sea levels from rising, we need radical action from the government. It’s clear that our environment isn’t safe in Tory hands.
“Austerity has had a serious impact on our natural world, with vital agencies such as Natural England having their budgets slashed in half and staff morale at an all-time low.
“We need political leadership to change our laws, taxation and infrastructure. The UK, along with the rest of the world is facing a serious environmental and climate crisis. But this government has stuck its head so far in the sand that even children are taking to the streets to protest. “