Catherine West MP
Catherine West MP

The State Opening of Parliament took place on 10th May. We desperately needed a Queen’s Speech that would tackle the cost-of-living crisis and bring forward the emergency energy efficiency measures we need. Unfortunately, this was another wasted opportunity.

I fear that Parliament’s new session will contain little to tackle the climate crisis, both in the UK and abroad. Labour has a strong plan and will continue to urge the Government to do the right thing and act.

Queens Speech and the Energy Bill

For the millions of families facing the catastrophe of soaring energy bills, the government’s Energy Bill is hopelessly inadequate. We know that the current energy bills crisis is a product of the Conservative’s failed energy policy. We are all paying extortionate energy bills now because the Government’s failure over a decade to properly regulate the energy market, to develop renewables and nuclear power, and to deliver energy efficiency programmes which could have cut bills.

A Labour Government would bring forward its own Energy Bill that would focus on two clear priorities: protecting consumers and bringing down energy costs and delivering an energy efficiency revolution. I truly believe now is the time to invest in a diverse green energy portfolio – this will ensure we are never again left in such a vulnerable position.

Deadly heatwave in India and Pakistan

I am extremely concerned about the current heatwave in India and Pakistan. Both countries are climate vulnerable, access to healthcare is difficult and surging electricity demand has triggered power outrages for millions of people.

Triple-digit temperatures are continuing to bake large parts of India and Pakistan, a region home to 1.5 billion people. For India, this past April was the hottest in 122 years and followed the hottest March on record. For Pakistan, it was the hottest April in 61 years. Jacobabad, a region in Pakistan and one of the hottest cities in the world, saw temperatures rise above 48C. Night-time temperatures offered no relief with temperatures staying in the 30s. And this is set to get worse in the coming days. Last month, I wrote to the Foreign Secretary to call on her support to climate vulnerable countries. The UK must play its role in the global community during this climate crisis.

Some of my recent Written Parliamentary Questions:

  • To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions has she had with her counterparts in India and Pakistan in regard to the current heatwave in both countries. Awaiting response
  • To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, will she commit to supporting India and Pakistan with climate adaption and mitigation measures. Awaiting response
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