Climate and Ecological Emergency: UK’s Response

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 8:25 pm on 9 February 2021.

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Photo of Liz Saville-Roberts Liz Saville-Roberts Shadow PC Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Women and Equalities) , Plaid Cymru Westminster Leader, Shadow PC Spokesperson (Justice), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Attorney General) 8:25, 9 February 2021

Diolch yn fawr, Dirprwy Lefarydd. It is an honour for me to work today in a cross-party spirit with Caroline Lucas. I am sure that we are all trying to raise the sense of urgency by the best means we can and use this House and this Chamber to good effect.

Climate change and ecosystem degradation are already a pressing reality in Wales, from changing weather patterns to biodiversity loss, with a 2019 report concluding that 666 species are threatened with extinction and 73 have been lost already. It is clear that to address this issue effectively and quickly, we need to mobilise unprecedented levels of innovation and investment across our economy and society.

Wales is a nation committed to transition, with the principle of sustainable development written into our constitution, but to bring about real transition, the UK also has to change. That means devolving and decentralising power, rather than centralising the decision making and resources necessary for that transition. Critically, that means increased economic and borrowing powers for the Government of Wales to finance the pivotal transition with the rapidity that our climate and environment demand.

I welcome this debate, and I hope that the UK Government will consider how best to support this transition across all four nations of the UK, particularly in the upcoming Budget. No nation in the world can manage climate change alone, but neither can centralised command and control alone bring about the change we need.