COP27: Wirral MP, ‘The need to act on climate change is urgent’

Margaret Greenwood MP has called on the government to introduce a bold and urgent plan to address the climate emergency.

The Wirral West MP was speaking in a parliamentary debate just days after the United Nations Secretary General gave a stark warning at the COP27 climate change conference that humanity is on “a highway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator”.

Extreme weather events over the summer saw the UK endure record temperatures of more than 40°C for the first time – something the Met Office described as “virtually impossible” without human-induced climate change.

Last month, the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy urged the government to “get a grip” on the major national security risks posed by the effects of climate change on critical national infrastructure such as power, transport, water and communications. It reported an extreme weakness at the centre of government when it comes to tackling climate change.

Margaret Greenwood also used her speech to pay tribute to the Cool Places of Worship project in Wirral through which places of worship – including West Kirby United Reformed Church – are taking action on climate change as part of Wirral’s Cool 2 climate change strategy.

She also pointed to Labour’s proposal to insulate 19 million homes throughout the country to help to cut people’s energy bills and emissions, and highlighted the fact that home insulation rates and energy efficiency upgrades have plummeted since the Conservatives took office in 2010. 

Speaking after the debate, Margaret Greenwood MP said, “The climate emergency is the most serious threat facing every single person on the planet and we need bold and urgent action from the government.

“Yet Rishi Sunak initially did not even plan to attend COP27 and only changed his mind after being shamed into a u-turn. This does not bode well.

“He has also given energy companies an incentive to invest in fossil fuels at a time when we need investment in renewables.

“The government’s own net zero strategy points to a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which states that ‘if we fail to limit global warming to 1.5°C…floods and fires…will get more frequent and more fierce, crops will be more likely to fail, and sea levels will rise driving mass migration as millions are forced from their homes.’

“It is abundantly clear that we need the government to encourage a move away from fossil fuels.

“The government must also be much more ambitious on insulating people’s homes.

“There is great work going on locally in this regard, and I was pleased to be able to highlight the work of Wirral’s Cool Places of Worship, which includes West Kirby United Reformed Church, who recently held an event to share knowledge and information about how people can improve the insulation of their homes to bring down their bills and tackle climate change.

“The government has an immense responsibility in the face of the climate emergency. They must be bold and come forward with a plan to address it as a matter of urgency.”

Image: Elena Mozhvilo

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