Rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all parts of the economy: that was the call to action from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Without acting on it, we will miss our climate change targets and global warming will cause fundamental damage to our planet and the way we live our lives. So why is this the first time in two years that we are debating climate change on the Floor of the House of Commons? Why is this debate not being led by the Prime Minister herself? Why is not climate change at the heart of every major statement from this Government?
The IPCC has given us 12 years. The independent Committee on Climate Change has said that we are falling behind and not acting with enough urgency. The climate strike protestors, whom I visited in Bristol, are rightly demanding more radical and urgent action now. What has been the response? The response to the IPCC report was to write a letter to the independent Committee on Climate Change, asking for advice. We should have been amending the Climate Change Act 2008 by now to upgrade our climate change targets in line with the Paris accord. We should be setting out how on earth we are going to finance the huge investment needed in upgraded infrastructure, energy and food security and in the technologies needed to meet our negative carbon emissions in future.