Today, after years of preparation – and a year’s delay because of the pandemic – the COP26 climate summit begins. This is a truly defining moment in the fight against climate change and, with the world still drifting in the wrong direction, it has never been more important for leaders to come together and finally get it right. Our future depends on it.
Climate disasters are already happening, and the further consequences of a rise in global temperatures of 2 degrees or more are unthinkable. We need decisive action to limit global warming to a maximum of 1.5 degrees, as agreed in the 2015 Paris Agreement, and it is time for detail and delivery to meet this goal.
That means global action to rapidly move away from fossil fuels, decarbonise industry and our transport networks, along with retrofitting homes and buildings, creating more green jobs and businesses, and moving towards a more sustainable food and farming system. It also means protecting and restoring natural carbon sinks, from our forests and peatlands to our marine environment.
At COP26 we also need to see wealthy nations coming up with the $100bn a year previously promised for developing nations for climate mitigation and adaption.
As always I’ve been doing a lot to try to press this agenda. In October alone I have:
• Spoken at two Bristol-based events focused on COP26
• Spoken in a debate on the Environment Bill and called for it to be strengthened
• Spoken in a debate about the Climate Change Committee’s recent, damning, progress report
• Pressed the Government on its inadequate Net Zero Strategy
• Contributed to a debate on including climate change in the national curriculum
• Asked multiple questions about the climate and nature emergencies in Parliament
• Attended an event focused on zero emission buses
• Spoke in the debate on the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill
There is so much at stake at COP26 over the next two weeks and so much progress to make, but I have done everything I can in Parliament on your behalf to make sure that this Government knows that. I’ll be heading up to Glasgow for the second part of the conference – and hope by then we’ll start to see some good news emerging from the talks.