Environment and Climate Change

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:07 pm on 1st May 2019.

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Photo of Deidre Brock Deidre Brock Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Devolved Government Relations), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Environment and Rural Affairs), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Wales) 3:07 pm, 1st May 2019

The hon. Gentleman is correct. This is just another example of the uncertainty that the whole situation around Brexit has caused, and the Government refuse to clarify it for the many people who are waiting to see what the grants might be.

What offers are likely to be made by any potential UK Government in the next couple of years to address the causes of climate change and climate chaos? A change of Prime Minister might offer an opportunity to change direction, but I see few signs that anyone leading on policy development in either of the two largest parties has really heard any of the warnings. Changing our society will require some discomfort, some pain and some realignment of how we live, and that is unlikely to happen immediately. For example, we still depend on fossil fuel-powered vehicles to get our food to the shops, and often even to get it to our front doors—from truck, to ship, to truck, to home delivery van. We still depend on hydrocarbons to make fertilisers. We still have an addiction to plastic that defies all understanding, and a hankering for personal transport.

People changing their cotton buds and refusing straws in pubs is not enough. The average inhabitant of these islands will join in with efforts to change the way we live, happily or otherwise, but it needs leadership from Government, proper investment in reliable renewable energy production, investment in and subsidies for low-emission public transport, a real push against plastics, and an uptick in building standards on insulation and energy-efficient heating and lighting—and not just for houses.