Responding to the Queen’s Speech in Parliament last week, Wera Hobhouse, MP for Bath and Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for the Climate Emergency, called out the Government for failing to deliver on its promises to tackle the climate and ecological emergency, which has the potential to be even more devastating than Covid-19.
In her speech in the House of Commons, Wera Hobhouse said: “This Government is good at making promises, but poor on delivery. It scrapped the Green Homes Grant and cut grants available to people buying electric vehicles.
“The Environment Bill, delayed without explanation, must be brought back to Parliament as a matter of urgency, and it needs to be much stronger. It must include a robust Office of Environmental Protection, with the powers and resources to hold the Government to account on its climate promises and legally binding interim targets.
“In just under 30 years, we need to cut our carbon emissions worldwide to zero. It may already be too late to limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees. Given the promise the Prime Minister made only a few weeks ago of bringing forward the 2050 targets of curbing emissions by 78% to 2035, why is there no bill proposed in the Queen's Speech?
“Adopting a bill specifically designed to cut most emissions by 2035 – thereby mitigating against the worst effects of climate change in the next decade – would set the UK up as a trailblazer at COP26. It would make us the first UN country to have such legislation.
“Climate action begins at the local level. Many local authorities, including my local council of Bath and North East Somerset, were quick off the mark in declaring a climate emergency. We should empower local authorities to deliver on green transport, homes, energy infrastructure and waste management. They understand their communities’ needs, and they will be critical in delivering effective, coherent change on the ground.
Wera Hobhouse concluded:
“Climate change is not tomorrow’s problem. We need a bold vision for this country that is long-term and radical. We need a government that is honest with the people, stops making empty promises and instead delivers.”
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