EMMA LEWELL-BUCK: Time for talking about climate change is over, we need action now!

COP26, the United Nations’ Climate Change Conference is due to take place in Glasgow later this year.

Thursday, 12th August 2021, 12:00 am
It is highly unlikely that world leaders flying into Glasgow to chat about climate change and tell us what we already know will be worth the emissions.

This week the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that the way we have treated our Planet is now resulting in extreme heatwaves, flooding and droughts. The response on the Tory benches is for some of their MPs to group together to fight climate action, as it will cost too much.

This was not unexpected, from the 1950s onwards scientists where already raising the alarm. Despite being derided by many their warnings continued in the decades that followed. But their warnings were not met with any real concerted effort from leaders working collectively across the globe.

The problem is Governments across the world work on short-termism looking to the next election to consolidate their vote. Measures to combat climate change needed to be embedded long term and put in place without some of those voters being around to see the benefits of them, so they were never put in place.

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I believe we have now reached the stage where the harm from climate change can’t and won’t be stopped it can only be supressed and the damage limited.

In the past I have been guilty of short termism myself; I have voted in Parliament for transport initiatives that bring jobs and investment to our local area that could have caused harm to our environment, this is the dichotomy all politicians face. We need some leadership from Government to ensure it isn’t always an either-or situation and that Green Jobs are always the default not the exception.

It is highly unlikely that world leaders flying into Glasgow to chat about climate change and tell us what we already know will be worth the emissions. The COP26 will be pointless unless they can come up with binding and agreed global solutions and the finances are there to make them a reality.

The time for warm words is long gone we need solutions and action. I am fearful the Prime Minister who governs by empty slogans and soundbites is not capable of this task.