Environment and Climate Change

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:13 pm on 1st May 2019.

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Photo of Catherine West Catherine West Labour, Hornsey and Wood Green 6:13 pm, 1st May 2019

May I first put on record the excellent work of the Hornsey and Wood Green climate emergency activists—they invited me to a meeting well in advance of Greta Thunberg’s visit and were ahead of the protesters—and the schoolchildren from schools in Hornsey and Wood Green who marched on London to demand change?

Transport is the most emitting sector of the UK economy, responsible for 27% of greenhouse gas emissions, and the figure increases to a staggering 40% if we include our share of international shipping and aviation. That is the one we can really do something about at the three levels of government. First, the Government must fund bus services—end of—and there is an election tomorrow where that will feature in big style.

Secondly, at local level, I was the council leader when we introduced the first 20 mph speed zone in London. At first it was considered ridiculous by the local papers, but it has now become rather fashionable. It is very much welcomed, for the sake of their lungs, by many young people and families.

Thirdly, I want to put on the record the work being done by the Mayor of London. That is not easy, as a lot of people will be affected. The ultra low emission zone in central London went live earlier this month. It is a very brave move, which later we will consider normal although at the moment it is a little uncomfortable. Well done to the Mayor and all our councillors who work so hard, day in, day out, on recycling, transport, cycling and all the things that make our environment better.

Finally, I want to put on the record the work being done on children’s asthma and respiratory health by Ella Kissi-Debrah’s mother, a constituent of my hon. Friend Janet Daby. She has worked so hard to convince others of the importance of climate change and transport.