Saluting the pupils’ protest
Last week school students across the country protested about the dangers to their future, and our world’s future, and put climate change in the headlines, exactly where it should be.
Some ‘stick-in-the-muds’ focused on their bunking off school, although it was actually the last afternoon before half-term holidays.
I don’t encourage pupils missing school lessons as a rule, of course, but I do admire the students’ gumption and their call for all of us not to stick our heads in the sand about climate change on the basis of the precautionary principle.
Climate change has always been a part of our planet’s history, but it is unwise to ignore warnings about it from the vast majority of scientists.
Last October’s groundbreaking report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the UN body for assessing the science of climate change, provided a stark warning of the dangers of climate change.
It revealed the stark difference between a world where we don’t act enough to curb dangerous emissions trends, and one where we do act and manage to keep temperature increases globally below 1.5C.
Extreme weather is already hitting British fruit and vegetable production.
It is leading to smaller chips, for instance.
Climate change hits the most vulnerable people hardest, whether it is very young or elderly people struggling with heat waves, or poor communities overseas losing their vital affected crops, and worse.
I have joined MPs of all political parties to urge the government to set an ambitious target to reduce the emissions driving climate change.
I salute the pupils for helping to make combatting climate change a bigger priority.