Britain is facing a climate crisis and I believe the Government should join with the Opposition in declaring a national environment and climate emergency, writes Sir Kevin Barron MP.
The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has made it clear that serious action has got to be taken on climate change in the next decade.
The UN’s World Meteorological Organisation, meanwhile, has found that the impacts of climate change are driving global temperatures towards increasingly dangerous levels.
Everything the Government and we in Parliament do must therefore be judged by whether we are making progress on reducing carbon emissions and fighting the effects of climate change.
This means doing things in an entirely different way, so we have a permanent low-carbon sustainable economy.
Labour is committed to ensuring 60 per cent of the UK’s energy comes from zero-carbon or renewable sources within the next 12 years.
And I believe we should be looking to create a zero-carbon economy by 2050.
We must use all the powers of Government to decarbonise the economy, implementing a green industrial revolution.
For example, I support plans for a seven-fold increase in offshore wind, a doubling of onshore wind and a near tripling of solar power.
This would be enough to power 19.5 million homes and create more than 400,000 jobs.
I also believe we must make all new homes zero-carbon and decarbonise the transport system, reducing use of carbon-emitting vehicles.
The fact we face a climate and environmental emergency is undeniable.
I can assure you I will continue to press for the Government to recognise this and act to bring about a zero-carbon future.