Mike Gapes Ilford Recorder Column – July 2019

Our planet is threatened by man made climate change, extreme weather events, droughts and floods, melting ice caps, rising sea levels, poor air quality, and plastic pollution.

Yet at the G20 summit in Japan leaders of the largest economies failed to agree because US President Trump blocked new commitments. In the European Union, and this country  we are doing much better.

In May Parliament declared a climate Emergency.

In June the Government announced a target to end all greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the first major economy to do so.

Many climate campaigners would like to do this even earlier. But even this target will require big changes.

Six House of Commons select committees recently announced the establishment of a citizens’ assembly on the climate emergency where a representative group of members of the public will come together in the autumn to learn about and debate issues, and come to conclusions on the best solutions, such as introduction of renewable energy and electric cars, the end of gas heating and cooking in homes, restrained flying and meat-eating and the planting of many more trees.

Last week I was delighted to meet a group of my constituents who had joined thousands of people from every corner of Britain who came to Parliament on “The Time is Now” lobby to tell their MPs that we cannot take our foot off the accelerator pedal and press for an Environment Bill to restore nature, cut plastic pollution and improve air quality.