Your MP says: Stephen Morgan on climate change

THE greatest threat our planet faces is climate change. In Australia, bushfires blaze. In Argentina, floods have taken the lives of hundreds.

Thursday, 9th January 2020, 12:02 pm
Flames burn through bush in Lake Tabourie, Australia Picture: Brett Hemmings/Getty Images

Here we have had record temperatures and flooding has left families destitute and homeless. The question we must all ask is how can we bring about the change needed?

The distant-sounding threat of ‘climate change’ may not be enough to stir people to come out fighting. But all of us would to protect our loved ones, our homes and our livelihoods. It is time we treated climate change with the same severity.

Throughout my time as a Portsmouth MP, tackling the climate emergency retained its place at the top of the agenda. People have given me a clear mandate to push for radical action. That is what I intend to do.

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One of the first actions I have taken as a re-elected MP has been setting up a public climate event, building on work done last year that seeks to share best practice at local authority level.

While I am proud of Labour’s record locally and nationally in declaring a climate emergency, the buck does not stop there. In hosting Oxford City Council’s cabinet member for climate change here in Portsmouth, we open the door to the most effective way of combating environmental degradation – shared understanding of successful ideas.

Oxford’s efforts to tackle the emergency are commendable. A string of events spanning the year start this weekend, I am seeking to capture what has worked and replicate it in Portsmouth. Our councils are on the front line of tackling climate change and with dangerous levels of air pollution and some of the worst recycling rates, Portsmouth must do better.

Councils have a vital role in cutting carbon emissions. I intend to do everything I can to reduce our impact. Millions have taken to the streets demanding action and their cries have not fallen on deaf ears. As one astute eight-year-old said to me, there is no planet B.