Climate Change, the Environment and Global Development

Part of Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill (Programme) – in the House of Commons at 5:50 pm on 10th July 2019.

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Photo of Alex Norris Alex Norris Labour/Co-operative, Nottingham North 5:50 pm, 10th July 2019

I am grateful for my hon. Friend’s intervention. That is a really inconvenient truth. We might think, “We’re only 1% of the world’s emissions. We’ll sort ourselves out,” but we must understand what we have exported. I talked about the deindustrialisation in my community. Those jobs and functions are happening elsewhere in the world, as are those emissions. We have to be very careful that we are not dishonest about that.

We must manage our waste properly rather than export it, filling the seas around south-east Asia with plastic. The principle of global climate justice must guide us to secure labour rights and fair supply chains when Britain pays for the raw materials to build millions of solar panels. It must guide us to net zero by reducing our emissions, not by simply supporting carbon offsetting and carbon markets that we know can generate enormous problems in the global south. It must guide us, as the shadow Chancellor has argued, to make our new green technologies available to the global south. Labour is clear: urgent action by the UK on the climate emergency must bring about justice and a new, fairer world, rather than a repeat of history.

I want to take a moment, with a little bit of self-indulgence, to talk about Nottingham. I was very proud today when I read in The Guardian that our council and city are arguably the most ambitious in the country, with our target of net zero carbon by 2028, our green transit, our trees and our bees. Indeed, I have beaten the hon. Member for Dundee West to it, as we have our own not-for-profit, locally run energy supplier. I would be interested in talking privately with him about his plans and how we might be able to work together on that.

As an Opposition, we have set out our plans. Earlier this year, my colleagues the shadow BEIS Secretary and the shadow DEFRA Secretary set out Labour’s ambitious environmental plan for a green transformation. The shadow Chancellor has spoken at great length about how we will green the City. We, the shadow DFID team, have set out in great detail our plans on entering government to ensure that our aid budget brings about climate justice. Shadow departmental teams across Labour’s Front Bench are now bringing forward policy plans to tackle the climate emergency. Across Government, we will recommit to the Paris agreement, explore bringing forward the date by which we can achieve the net zero target, and fight in the global financial institutions for a fairer global local economy that puts people and planet before profit. This is our promise as the next Labour Government, and that is what we will deliver.