Parliament’s intent to beat climate change

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A number of my constituents made the journey to Westminster last week as part of a call to action over climate change.

They were part of the ‘Speak Up For the Love of ...’ campaign organised by the Climate Change Coalition, representing more than 100 organisations.

Government action in the early years of this century to reduce debt and increase aid has had a dramatic effect on reducing child mortality rates, but climate change threatens to reverse that.

Natural disaster, war, ever diminishing resources including water and mass migration, all pose a growing threat.

In September 2015 the government will play a role in setting new Sustainable Development Goals and later in Paris a global climate deal will hopefully be thrashed out.

Earlier we used our first Opposition Day to debate climate change, our motion setting ambitious emission targets, net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and an equitable deal for all nations.

Despite some discordant voices, it brought rare consensus. Unusually for an Opposition motion, it was carried and stands as a statement of Parliament’s intent.

In case anyone believes climate change is a problem for countries of which we know and care little, one of my first meetings back in my constituency was with residents in Shiremoor about the Shiremoor/South Wellfield Flood Relief scheme.

The effects of changes in the weather may be closer than we think.