Speaking in the climate change debate
Speaking in the climate change debate

This afternoon I spoke in the climate emergency debate following the Queen’s Speech. I used my speech to raise some of the heartbreaking letters I’ve recently received from primary school children about tackling climate change.

It’s the topic that children write to me about most often and I’ve had letters from children as young as 5. We are all terrified about the future of the planet, but it is children and future generations that will pay the price if we continue on this track.

We stand at a critical point in history. It’s not too late – we can’t just throw our hands up and resign ourselves to a doomed future. But the window in which we can act is closing fast. We must not be the generation that squandered this final opportunity to act. Greta Thunberg is correct: future generations will not forgive us.

The Government afforded just 4 words to climate change in this week’s Queen’s Speech. It was tacked on the end, in a list of international development goals. Climate change is of course a global issue and requires a global response – but we need to start by making changes at home.

The environment must be at the heart of economic and industrial policies. A Labour government would drastically reduce greenhouse gases by investing in new green industries and technologies. Not only would this create thousands of new, green jobs, but it would also reduce our country’s carbon footprint.

The letters I receive from children usually have one thing in common. They are hopeful. They suggest ways we can make a difference and they tell me about the changes they are making themselves. Eating less meat. Recycling. Planting trees.

The actions of individuals must be matched with bold actions from Government. We cannot let this generation down – the time to act is now.

Watch the full speech here:

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