James is a passionate campaigner for our environment
James is a passionate campaigner for our environment

Bury North MP James Frith has challenged the government to declare an environment and climate emergency, following a declaration made by Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary in Parliament last week.

Sue Hayman MP, Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary, declared the emergency in a Parliamentary exchange with Minister Michael Gove, who refused to back the call.

The announcement follows a wave of youth climate school strikes nationwide as young people issued a call to action to prevent a dangerous rise in global temperatures by radically transforming our economy. Bury’s Youth MP, Emma Greenwood, took part in the climate action and has thrown her support behind the call for a national emergency.

‘Climate Emergency’ is an internationally recognised declaration being used around the world to publicly declare concern over the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) findings. The IPCC’s recent Special Report describes the enormous harm that a 2°C rise in global temperatures would cause.

Earlier in March it was revealed by the government’s own environmental advisers that the UK will miss almost all its 2020 nature targets, with 14 out of 19 biodiversity targets currently not being met by the government.

James said:

“Even if every individual takes steps to limit their carbon footprint, the planet will continue to warm at a dangerous pace.

“If we are to seriously consider any realistic chance of keeping global temperature below the limit of 1.5 or 2 degrees and sea levels from rising, we need radical action from the government. It’s clear that our environment isn’t safe in Tory hands.

“Austerity has had a serious impact on our natural world, with vital agencies such as Natural England having their budgets slashed in half and staff morale at an all-time low.

“We need political leadership to change our laws, taxation and infrastructure. The UK, along with the rest of the world is facing a serious environmental and climate crisis. But this government has stuck its head so far in the sand that even children are taking to the streets to protest.”

Bury Youth MP Emma Greenwood said:

“Climate change is the greatest crisis we’ve ever seen and it is my generation and the ones who come after me who will have to live with the consequences.

“Young people in Bury and across the world are fed up with talking and little action. I support calls for a national climate and environment emergency and would like to see politicians do more to urgently address the threat we face.”

Shadow Environment Secretary, Sue Hayman MP, who visited Bury with James last year to see some local environmental projects, said:

“Labour is calling for the House of Commons to declare an environment and climate emergency. Species decline, habitat destruction and climate change are progressing at an alarming rate under this government, risking our food supply, landscapes, infrastructure, and public health.

“We need urgent action to prevent and reverse ecological catastrophe. A Labour government will kick-start a Green Industrial Revolution, with investment in clean transport and energy creating hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country. And we will bring forward a fully-resourced plan for nature to restore and enhance our natural world.”

James and Emma are hosting a public meeting to discuss the environment open to everyone in Bury, Tottington and Ramsbottom at 7pm on Tuesday 16th April at St. Marie’s Primary School in Bury. Register to attend below.

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