Richmond Park and North Kingston MP Zac Goldsmith spoke out on the need to do more to tackle global warming in a Parliamentary debate on extreme weather events related to climate change.
Alongside MPs from the Labour Party, DUP and SNP, Zac referenced the significant increase in the number of extreme weather events both around the world and in the UK, and highlighted evidence of a clear link between human influenced climate change and extreme weather.
Rejecting the calls of climate change sceptics to do nothing, Zac highlighted the recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which stressed the importance of the world meeting a target of a rise of no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels – a rise of 2 degrees instead would, Zac said, “massively worsen the risks of floods, drought, extreme heat and, as a consequence, poverty for hundreds of millions of people.” To achieve a 1.5 degree rise will require huge changes for people, businesses and governments.
Zac also outlined the role the UK Government should take – domestically and internationally. He acknowledged the Government’s record in increasing support for renewables, but urged ministers to do more to accelerate the transition away from polluting cars, and to abandon plans to allow a free for all for applications to begin fracking.
He ended his speech by calling on the Department of International Development to allocate a greater share of its annual £15 billion budget to restoring and protecting nature – in particular forests, which act as giant carbon ‘sinks’ that absorb and store billions of tonnes of carbon. By preventing deforestation and protecting forest habitats, Zac argued, we will enhance a vital defence against climate change and its consequences, as well as protecting wildlife and people too, especially the very poorest who rely most directly on forests for their livelihoods.
The full text of Zac’s speech can be found here - https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2018-11-13/debates/9FD4E349-A7E4-4306-B279-641380624962/ClimateChangeExtremeWeatherEvents#contribution-DCB9DC24-1044-4698-82DB-B88F88026D7A