Environment and Climate Change

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:19 pm on 1st May 2019.

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Photo of Hugh Gaffney Hugh Gaffney Labour, Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill 6:19 pm, 1st May 2019

The UK Student Climate Network, the FridaysforFuture movement and Extinction Rebellion—these movements for climate action, driven by passion and activism, follow proud traditions of movements for change throughout our history, such as the trade unions. This week, the Communication Workers Union, at its annual conference in Bournemouth, also debated climate change.

I was pleased to see recently cross-party political talks. Positive commitments emerged from those talks. Sadly, there was no Prime Minister and no Conservative party representation.

To conclude, I want to reflect on a recent meeting I had with a young constituent of mine, Alexander. He had come to one of my surgeries in Moodiesburn concerned about the lack of action on climate change. He made an overnight journey last week from Moodiesburn to London to participate in the climate change protests. He said to me, rephrasing a quote from a world war two book he had read:

“Britain’s honour and its national interests are at stake. Our planet is under attack and there can be no further delays on declaring war on climate change, whatever the other nations decide to do.”

How right that statement is. There can be no further delays. We have to act now. It is time for the UK to declare a climate emergency.