We are in a period of great global economic turmoil. The Labour government acted decisively and provided leadership to the rest of Europe. We were right to intervene to nationalise banks and increase resources to allow people to keep their homes and businesses. The next few years will be difficult. We are fortunate to be led in these troubled times by Gordon Brown who is a rock of stability and experience. This is indeed no time for a novice.
Last week I spoke to the Redbridge Green Fair Association public meeting about the threat the world also faces from accelerating global warming.
Britain is the first country in the world to put carbon reduction targets into law. Previously the Government had said the target cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 would be 60 per cent lower than 1990. I was one of a number of MPs calling for a larger cut of 80%. I am delighted that Ed Miliband, Britain’s first Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change listened, and looked at the evidence of Arctic sea ice melting faster than expected and the advice of the Climate Change Committee. He has now committed the government to a long-term target for reducing Britain’s emissions by 80%. The target will apply not just to CO2, but to all greenhouse gases. Britain will be playing its part to stabilise greenhouse gases at a level that limits global warming to 2 degrees Celsius. I also put down amendments to the Climate Change Bill to include aviation and shipping in the target. I am pleased that the government has now moved on this issue too.
A global agreement is vital to reduce the threat of climate change. We must wean ourselves off our addiction to oil and fossil fuels. Investing in energy conservation, renewables, wind, solar and nuclear power will create many jobs and also help save our planet.
posted 30 October 2008