I am extremely sorry that due to pressure of other Parliamentary business I was unable to take part in the rally/lobby but I can promise my continued support for this crucial campaign.
I agree that tackling climate change is an environmental and economic necessity and the most important thing we must do for our children, our grandchildren and future generations. I also appreciate that the effects of climate change hit the poorest hardest and that eradicating global poverty will only be possible if we tackle climate change.
We must, therefore, have a strong global agreement at the UN Climate Summit in Paris that sets ambitious targets to reduce carbon emissions and has a goal of net zero global emissions in the second half of this century.
Climate change should also be a key priority for the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will replace the Millennium Development Goals in September. It is very disappointing that the current Government does not support the inclusion of climate change as a standalone goal in the SDGs but I hope there is still time for the Government to reconsider this.
The previous Labour Government had a good record on international development and climate change and I believe the current Government should be doing more to support a low-carbon economy here in the UK and to push for more ambition internationally. The last Labour Government introduced the Climate Change Act, which enshrined the world's first legally binding emissions reduction targets. UK Carbon Budgets - enshrined under this Act - already require deeper cuts in emissions than those currently proposed by the European Union and I would like to see the Government work with other European governments to pursue more ambitious targets.
Domestically, I believe we need an additional legally binding target to take the carbon out of our electricity supply by 2030. I am also concerned that the Government's plans to end subsidies for new onshore wind farms shows a lack of commitment to tackling climate change at home and may lead to higher bills for consumers in future. The transition to a low carbon economy is a huge opportunity with the potential to create jobs and growth but I believe the Government's mixed messages and failing policies have led to the UK falling behind with investment in green growth.
I believe the UK Government must show leadership on clean energy at home and show international leadership, especially in Europe, to push for ambitious emissions targets for all countries, strengthened every five years on the basis of a scientific assessment of progress made towards limiting a global temperature rise to below 2°C. I therefore supported a House of Commons motion tabled by my Shadow Frontbench colleagues on 10 June which called on the Government to push for more action on climate change. The motion was passed without a vote.
I hope that the Government takes note of the lobby and will push for an ambitious deal in Paris and I can assure you I will continue to press the Government to support a low-carbon economy in the UK and to push for the best possible global deal on reducing emissions including steps to ensure richer countries provide support to poorer nations in combating climate change.
Karen Buck MP