We must play a leading role in tackling climate change
Thornbury and Yate MP Luke Hall writes for the Voice.
AS we begin to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government needs to start shifting its focus to the present challenges which we face.
Globally, the major challenge which every country will have to contend with is tackling climate change, and here in the UK the Prime Minister has made it clear that our priority as a nation is to 'Build Back Greener'.
In November, Glasgow is set to host the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, better known to many as the COP26 Summit, taking place under the presidency of the UK.
The conference offers Britain the opportunity to highlight the work we have done to reach our Net-Zero target by 2050, while at the same time showing global leadership to encourage other nations to follow our efforts and rise to the challenge.
Climate change cannot be resolved by one country alone – it will require collective action working together.
This is something I’m passionate about. In my time as an MP, I’ve previously sat on the Environmental Audit Select Committee in Parliament, and raised these matters directly with ministers. I’ve made the argument for taking action now, rather than at an increased financial and environmental cost later.
In 2015 I attended the United Nations Climate Change Conference, where the Paris Agreement about the global reduction of CO2was signed.
Here at home, I’ve worked to raise awareness of the climate change strategy in SouthGloucestershire, and my positive plan for the environment and green spaces has been fundamental to my local efforts.
It is more important than ever that we take action. In the run-up to COP26, the Government has published its 10-point plan to achieve a new green industrial revolution: a blueprint to building back better, supporting green jobs, and accelerating our path to net zero.
More than £12billion of government investment will create and support 250,000 highly-skilled green jobs, alongside cementing Britain as the global centre of green finance.
The UK will produce enough offshore wind to power every home, and we will put in place the infrastructure needed to generate 5GW of low-carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030 for industry, transport, power and homes.
We will become a world leader in carbon capture technology to store harmful emissions away from the atmosphere, and £1bn will be given to make our schools, hospitals and homes more energy efficient. We will plant 30,000 hectares of trees every year.
COP26 offers the UK the opportunity to play a fundamental role in setting the world’s agenda for tackling climate change in the years ahead. We have made strong progress so far, but we will need to rise to this challenge if we are truly to achieve long-term success.