2022 will be another crucial year for the climate. After all the promises and impressive speeches from COP26, it is vital that Boris Johnson continues the momentum and ensures that the global community show real action. The data is sharper than ever, and, across the world, we can already see the consequences of the climate crisis. So, will significant action follow?
I am also pleased to say that I was asked to stay in the shadow Foreign Office team, now led by the fantastic shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy. I am very excited about my new role as Shadow Minister for Asia and the Pacific and look forward to raising issues relating to the climate crisis, climate finance and international solidarity from the region.
Here are some of the things I’ve been doing in Parliament since your last newsletter:
My letter to the Prime Minister on COP26
Glasgow may be over, but the UK remains COP President for the coming year, and our credibility rests on demonstrable climate action at home. You can read my full response to COP26 here.
Last month, I wrote to the Prime Minister to urge his Government to continue the momentum from COP26, including abandoning plans for the Cambo Oil Field and the new coal mine in Cumbria. You can read my letter here. Before COP26, I also wrote a piece for the Ham and High on what needed to be achieved during the summit.
MPs should also lead by example and our pensions should not be used to fund climate disaster. That’s why I’m calling for MPs to Divest Parliament from the fossil fuel industry.
Backbench Debate: COP26: Limiting Global Temperature Rises
On 21st October 2021, I attended the backbench debate on COP26 and limiting global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees. I raised concerns about the impact of the foreign aid cut on international climate advocacy and the government’s woefully inadequate Boiler Upgrade Scheme. You can read my contributions here.
I was delighted to speak at the launch of the TUC report into Brazil, “The Challenge to Democracy in Brazil”, where I made clear that Labour firmly believes in a pro-worker and pro-environment trade deal. I have subsequently met with the Brazilian Ambassador to the UK, where I raised the serious increase in deforestation of the Amazon and the protection of indigenous rights, while emphasising our ongoing friendship with the Brazilian people. You can read more about my work on Brazil here.
I welcomed Haringey Council Leader Cllr Peray Ahmet’s letter calling for a “pause and review” before the North London Waste Authority pushes ahead with plans for a new Edmonton Incinerator. It’s an issue I’ve raised with Ministers previously and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Air Pollution has highlighted the concerns over this method of waste management. The plans for the Edmonton Incinerator were put forward a long time ago, back when Boris Johnson was Mayor of London, and things have moved on since then. It’s extremely disappointing that this opportunity wasn’t taken by NLWA to look again at the plans.
Some of my recent Written Parliamentary Questions:
- To ask the President of COP26, if he will use the remainder of his time as COP President to establish a process to identify (a) the scale of funding required to address loss and damage and (b) suitable mechanisms to deliver that finance to developing countries. Response here
- To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent conversations she has had with her Brazilian counterpart regarding Brazil’s participation in COP26 and their commitments to reaching net zero by 2050. Response here
- To ask the President of COP26, what steps he is taking to help ensure that new and additional finance for loss and damage is included in the discussions on the new post-2025 climate finance target at COP26. Response here
- To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking in response to the recommendation of the International Energy Agency that there should be no new investments in oil and gas production fields, coal mines or unabated coal power plants beyond 2021. Response here
- To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions she has had with her Central American counterparts on UK support for those countries in achieving net zero emissions. Response here
- To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to COP26, whether a decision has been made on the potential development of the Cambo oil field. Response here
- To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is planning to take to decarbonise domestic heating supply. Response here