I begin by congratulating the Prime Minister on launching the UN climate summit in London today. I had the pleasure of working with Sir David Attenborough last year on tackling plastic pollution, and I am delighted that such a revered conservationist has today supported the Government and the UK’s role as a world leader in tackling climate change. I welcome the call this morning for international action to achieve global net zero emissions. I also thank Nadia Whittome for securing today’s debate on the important subject of climate justice.
In my view, the science is clear: if we continue to pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, climate change will continue to get worse and temperatures will continue to rise, along with associated impacts and risks—particularly severe and frequent extreme weather, including flooding, which affects my constituency of Stafford. To avoid the worst impacts of climate change, we need to stop adding to the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. I was pleased that in 2008, the UK passed the Climate Change Act with huge cross-party consensus, becoming the first country in the world to set a legally binding target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. I am also pleased that the target is now to achieve an 80% reduction in those gases by 2050 from their 1990 levels. The Government should be congratulated on their support for, and investment in, clean energy since 2010.
Reducing the impact of climate change is a matter of great interest to my constituents. We are currently having a public consultation across Stafford borough, through which residents, businesses and organisations have the opportunity to give their views on the draft climate change strategy produced by Stafford Borough Council. This follows the council’s declaration of a climate change emergency last year, with a commitment to be carbon neutral by 2040.