Environment and Climate Change

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:17 pm on 1st May 2019.

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Photo of Mohammad Yasin Mohammad Yasin Labour, Bedford 6:17 pm, 1st May 2019

Over six months ago, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that we had just 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe. The leading scientific experts in the world told us in no uncertain terms that urgent changes were needed to cut the risk of extreme heat, drought, floods and poverty. To put it another way, we should take urgent action before catastrophic life loss occurs. No such urgent action has taken place.

At the World Economic Forum in January, Sir David Attenborough told world leaders that we are destroying the natural world—and with it, ourselves. But no real urgent action followed. We have known for decades now that climate change was a threat to our planet. Many have devoted their lives to the climate change cause, to wake the world from its complacency and make it understand the gravity of the situation. But human beings are not great at planning and preparing for their future, and even less good at planning for the benefit of future generations.

I am very pleased that last month Bedford Borough Council voted unanimously to declare a climate emergency and committed to a six-month project to identify actions needed to achieve its 2030 carbon neutrality target. We heard from scientists who talked of the deafening sound of huge glaciers calving off the Greenland ice shelf and said that the current logging and burning of tropical forests releases more carbon dioxide than our remaining forests could possibly absorb.

I urge this Government, like Bedford Borough Council and other local authorities, to show true world leadership and declare a climate emergency. Nothing short of a green revolution will do. I am very happy to support the motion.