There is no doubt this will be a challenging year for our community. As the NHS rolls out the vaccine that offers a way out of this COVID pandemic, we must keep pushing for a recovery that tackles the unemployment crisis, inequality andthe climate emergency together. We’ve published Labour’s plans for what a “green economic recovery” should look like – creating 400,000 new jobs and bringing forward £30 billion in planned capital investment, but we’re still not seeing the necessary ambition from this Government.
The Spending Review was a wasted opportunity that did little more than reiterate support for Johnson’s “10-point plan” which we already know doesn’t come close to meeting the scale of the climate emergency. The Institute for Public Policy Research has estimated there’s a £33 billion gap between current investment and what is needed to meet the legal net zero target but the Prime Minister’s plan involves less than £4 billion of new investment. This lack of ambition will be disastrous. With only a year to go before COP26, and a new incoming administration in the US with a different approach, I will keep pushing for us to raise our own domestic ambitions and lead international diplomatic efforts to secure global climate action.
Air pollution is a public health emergency
Shortly before Christmas, an inquest for the first time recognised the role air pollution played in the death of Ella Kissi-Debrah. I had the privilege of speaking at an event alongside her mother Rosamund last year and she has shown such bravery and strength campaigning tirelessly following her daughter’s death. These findings must be a turning point – toxic air pollution is a public health crisis especially for our children and for vulnerable people and action has been too slow for too long. Mayor Sadiq Khan has been leading the change and this October sees the expansion of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone to inner London. It’s also the Mayor and London Assembly elections in May, and it is vital we turn out the vote locally for Sadiq Khan and Joanne McCartney to continue this crucial work.
Ethics & Sustainability in Fashion
As Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Ethics & Sustainability in Fashion, we’ve been highlighting the role textile production plays in climate change – with the fashion industry emitting about the same quantity of greenhouse gas per year as the entire economies of France, Germany and the UK combined. I’ve written for the Ham & High about some of the changes we need to see and our full report looks at how the industry can be rebuilt after COVID in a more just and sustainable manner. You can read the full report here.
My recent Written Parliamentary Questions
- To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of including energy from waste incineration emissions in the UK’s net-zero plans. Response here.
- To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of the election of Joe Biden as US President Elect on the COP26 summit. Response here.
- To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of adopting a target of 70 per cent recycling by 2030.Response here.
- To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of a capital investment programme to support reuse, repair, remanufacturing, and recycling of scrap steel, glass, paper and card, plastics and biowaste. Response here