- Posted by: Valerie Vaz MP
- Category: News
The youth Global Climate Strike was celebrated in Walsall Town Centre on Friday 20 September 2019.
Many people met at the Sister Dora statue in the market place at the same time that the strikes were going on throughout the UK and across the world, from India to Kenya to the USA. There were over 2,500 events scheduled in over 163 countries on all seven continents. Activists estimate that 4 million people took part in the strikes.
It is good to see that the young people are pushing the rest of the world into action on climate change. It has been suggested that the young people are missing out on their education when they attend the ‘Fridays for future’ strike. My view is that this is a form of education. These young people are being active citizens and ensuring that they know how to effect change by lobbying and taking action on the issues that effect them most. Many young people have learnt how to put forward their case, persuade people and engage.
When Greta Thunberg went to Congress, she was asked what she wanted to say; Greta said that she will let the scientists speak.
I agree with Greta because the science says:
- the average temperature at the Earth’s surface has risen by about 1°C since the pre-industrial period.
- the five warmest years on record have taken place since 2010.
- worldwide, from 1980 to 2009, floods caused more than 500,000 deaths and affected more than 2.8 billion people
- acid rain, a product of coal-burning, makes waters toxic for aquatic animals and damages forests as it robs the soil of essential nutrients such as calcium and causes aluminium to be released in the soil, which makes it hard for trees to take up water.
- fracking in the UK has triggered many small earthquakes. Cuadrilla fracked in Lancashire for over 2 months in 2018 which led to 57 earthquakes. In August 2019, a 2.9 magnitude earthquake was measured close to Blackpool, by Cuadrilla’s site.
I spoke at the demonstration and released a Glossary of Climate Change on the same day so that people can make themselves aware of the terms of art which are familiar to the experts but maybe not to everyone. It is important for people to be informed about the way society is changing and the decisions being taken about the future of our environment. More importantly to be empowered to join in and understand the debate.
We will play our part in Parliament. A motion tabled by the Leader of the Opposition declaring a climate emergency passed unanimously in the House of Commons on 1 May 2019.
We are committed to:
- introducing a new Clean Air Act to deal with illegal air quality.
- investing £2.3bn per year to provide financial support for households to insulate their homes and introduce a zero carbon homes standard for new-build homes.
- mandating the Office for Budget Responsibility to model for the potential long-term impacts on the economy and public finances of climate change.
- creating a National Transformation Fund that will invest £250 billion over ten years to help place our economy on a low carbon, sustainable footing.
It is vital that those of us in Parliament and everyone outside protect and preserve our planet for all generations.