I attended a meeting of Climate Action Newcastle, a local community based non-party-political group of volunteers who encourage people from all walks of life to work together in tackling climate change. We need to act now if we hope to limit the rise in temperature to 1.5°C and avoid catastrophic consequences.
I spoke about the Government’s failure to tackle climate change with the urgency required. In 2018 carbon dioxide emissions fell by just 2%. This is the smallest drop in 6 years. At this pace, it would take until 2100 to reach emission levels compatible with net zero. I am worried that the Government will continue to sit on their hands and let the next generation deal with the ever-increasing costs of inaction. The Prime Minister has previously shown his lack of willingness properly address this issue. As Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson cut the number of UK climate attaches across the world by 60% from 165 to just 65. Under his leadership the UK remains off course to meet its fourth and fifth carbon budgets.
This year the United Nations Conference on Climate Change will be held in Glasgow. I believe it is essential that the UK shows stronger domestic leadership on this issue if we are to make COP26 a success. I would like to see the UK acknowledge the role we had in causing the climate crisis. The Labour Party will also push the Government to focus on global financial reform. The world must switch investment away from fossil fuels, especially coal if we want to uphold the Paris Climate Accord.