COP26 Coalition Day of Action in Luton 

I want to send my solidarity to everyone demonstrating to demand international climate leadership from our government at COP26. 

I share your deep concerns and alarm at the climate emergency. The world is on the brink of climate catastrophe, but COP26 is a real opportunity to protect it for the next generation. As Ed Miliband MP put it, COP26 is about “whether we preserve species or destroy them, make our planet inhabitable or uninhabitable, protect the most vulnerable here and around the world from climate breakdown, or not.” 

COP26 puts world leaders on the spot, forcing them to act. Together, we must demand action that prevents climate breakdown and commits us to build a society that respects its environment. 

We have to keep the pressure on the UK government. The Conservative Party’s rhetoric fluctuates between indifference to and disdain for climate action, including a Prime Minister that breaks his promises and a Chancellor who didn’t mention climate once in his Autumn Budget speech.  

As it stands, the UK and the world are not on track to meet the Paris Agreement’s aim to limit global warming to 1.5C. Tackling the climate emergency requires bold ideas underpinned by a vision of a better world.  

The Labour Party’s demands from COP26 are clear: the UK must show global leadership, commit to supporting the world’s most vulnerable countries by reversing the overseas aid cut, protect nature, and put pressure on big polluters to act, whether they be companies or countries. 

In Parliament, I have repeatedly advocated for an equitable, green recovery, including a green industrial strategy that would mean skilled, green, future-proofed jobs at Vauxhall manufacturing electric vehicles. I supported amendments to the Environment Bill to halt and reverse species decline. As a member of the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee, our recent ‘Local Government and Path to Net Zero’ report set out a net zero framework that included ambitious recommendations around decarbonising homes, buildings, transport, and waste. 

Climate action doesn’t end at COP26. The movement for climate justice must continue, and I will keep working for that better world we all believe in. 

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