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Paris Agreement on Climate Change

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:01 pm on 7th September 2016.

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Photo of Margaret Greenwood Margaret Greenwood Labour, Wirral West 5:01 pm, 7th September 2016

I congratulate my hon. Friend Barry Gardiner on securing this important and most timely debate.

Last September, I met Councillor Miguel Magalang from the Philippines to hear his first-hand experience of the impact of climate change in his country. He was visiting the UK to raise awareness of the impact of the increasingly extreme weather conditions that the Philippines are experiencing. The Philippines are made up of thousands of small islands. He told me that it looks like a tropical paradise, with sandy beaches lapped by turquoise blue waters. However, this beautiful place is suffering from the impact of climate change through increasingly frequent typhoons. His country—his home—is under threat, and people have to live in readiness to follow evacuation procedures. This means uncertainty and instability for everyone, and it has a knock-on effect on the economy, the education of children and the provision of healthcare. In the typhoons of 2012 and 2013, over 8,000 people lost their lives. The message from Councillor Magalang was simple: climate change is here now, not in the future, and we should play our part in tackling it. The UK has responsibilities to other parts of the world, such as the Philippines, as a major emitter. Like other industrialised countries, we clearly bear a strong responsibility for climate change, and we should therefore provide a strong lead in taking action to tackle it.