I want to remind Members why we are even here to debate the climate crisis in the first place. We are not here because of an international effort co-ordinated by world leaders, the recent cyclone in Mozambique or the increasing incidence of climate disasters wreaking havoc across our planet. We are here because, last August, a small group of schoolchildren decided to walk out of school to take a stand against climate change, and they have inspired a global movement. In one sense, this is testament to the great power of protest and a cause for hope in future generations, but it is also an indictment of our global political leadership. Frankly, it is an embarrassment that it should take a group of schoolchildren to pressure us to act.
The younger generations have exposed the abject failings of the world’s decision makers. We saw these failings on display just last week, when the Secretary of State for International Trade seemed to legitimise climate change denial. His comments displayed a stunning level of ignorance about climate change—an ignorance that runs throughout the Tory party.
Make no mistake: climate change is happening at a terrifying pace. Only through urgent and co-ordinated action can we tackle this crisis. Doing nothing is simply not an option. I have been contacted by many of my constituents about this very issue. As the MP for Warrington South, I have called on Warrington Borough Council to declare an environment and climate emergency. In this country, we led the way in the industrial revolution, and it would be fitting if we were the architects of a green revolution today. Parliament must vote to declare a climate and environment emergency today.