Hot Seat

Llanelli MP Nia Grif­fith on how the gov­ern­ment is not do­ing any­where near enough to pre­vent a cli­mate dis­as­ter

Llanelli Star - - NEWS -

IT is fan­tas­tic to see cli­mate change back on the po­lit­i­cal agenda, af­ter far too many years of it be­ing side­lined by this Tory Gov­ern­ment.

This re­newed in­ter­est is thanks in large part to the in­spi­ra­tional 16-year-old ac­tivist Greta Thun­berg, whom I was lucky to see when she came to give a pow­er­ful speech in Par­lia­ment.

Greta de­liv­ered a stark mes­sage about the en­vi­ron­men­tal and so­cial catas­tro­phe that awaits us if we do not go much fur­ther and much faster in re­duc­ing our car­bon emis­sions.

She has in­spired mil­lions of peo­ple around the world to take to the streets and de­mand that politi­cians take this se­ri­ously. It was great to join some pas­sion­ate Ex­tinc­tion Re­bel­lion ac­tivists at a protest in Swansea re­cently.

Labour heeded these calls by declar­ing a cli­mate emergency in Par­lia­ment last month, and we have chal­lenged the Con­ser­va­tives to do the same.

Not only have they failed to do so, but Min­is­ters are not do­ing any­where near enough to pre­vent a cli­mate dis­as­ter – whether it is aban­don­ing the Swansea Bay Tidal La­goon, tak­ing away financial sup­port for re­new­able en­ergy like on­shore wind or press­ing ahead with frack­ing in Eng­land, the UK Gov­ern­ment has shown that, for them, cli­mate change is not a pri­or­ity.

Luck­ily it is a pri­or­ity for the Welsh Labour Gov­ern­ment, which has banned frack­ing in Wales and is do­ing what it can to sup­port re­new­able en­ergy.

The sad re­al­ity is that we are not on track to meet the am­bi­tious but nec­es­sary tar­gets set out in the Cli­mate Change Act 2008, which, as a life-long en­vi­ron­men­tal cam­paigner, it was an honour to work on as part of the last Labour Gov­ern­ment.

We must once again treat this is­sue with the se­ri­ous­ness and ur­gency it de­serves, and invest in the green tech­nol­ogy, in­fra­struc­ture and jobs of the fu­ture.

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