Climate Change Emergency – Meaning What?

Below is the Labour Party’s climate emergency motion, passed in the Commons yesterday without a vote. Just what the motion means is not totally clear.

For the government, that snake Michael Gove accepted there was an emergency, but refused to declare one.

For business and all those organisations with a neoliberal outlook, a cost benefit approach shows the present value of something happening in 2050 to be almost nothing.

“That this House declares an environment and climate emergency following the finding of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change that to avoid more than 1.5°C rise in global warming, global emissions would need to fall by around 45 per cent from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching net zero by around 2050; recognises the devastating impact that volatile and extreme weather will have on UK food production, water availability, public health and through flooding and wildfire damage; notes that the UK is currently missing almost all of its biodiversity targets, with an alarming trend in species decline, and that cuts of 50 percent to the funding of Natural England are counterproductive to tackling those problems; calls on the Government to increase the ambition of the UK’s climate change targets under the Climate Change Act 2008 to achieve net zero emissions before 2050, to increase support for and set ambitious, short-term targets for the roll-out of renewable and low carbon energy and transport, and to move swiftly to capture economic opportunities and green jobs in the low carbon economy while managing risks for workers and communities currently reliant on carbon intensive sectors; and further calls on the Government to lay before the House within the next six months urgent proposals to restore the UK’s natural environment and to deliver a circular, zero waste economy.”