Last week in Prime Ministers Questions, Taunton Deane MP Rebecca Pow urged the Government to “do more, faster and sooner, for a sustainable future.” And this week, grasping another opportunity to ask a question in PMQ’s Ms Pow referred to the advice given by the Committee on Climate Change Committee last week urging the Prime Minister to “legislate for net zero emissions by 2050.”
The Prime Minister responded that the Government will “look very carefully at the report and make a formal response to it in due course.” Ms Pow, who has campaigned on environmental and rural issues for much of her career, has requested a follow-up meeting with the Prime Minister May to seek clarification on the issue and press for a timeline for bringing forward legislation.
In 2008, the UK passed the Climate Change Act committing the UK to reducing our emissions by 80 percent by 2050 (on 1990 levels). Last year the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published a report which outlined why it is so important to limit warming to 1.5C. The UK Government instructed their independent statutory adviser the Committee on Climate Change to look at this in more detail, and they reported back on 2 May 2019 on how the UK can reach net zero emissions by 2050.
On Monday, the UN’s Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services released a summary of an upcoming report on the state of biodiversity on Earth. It warns, as many as 1 million species are now at risk of extinction if we don’t act to save them; that number includes 40 percent of all amphibian species, 33 percent of corals, and around 10 percent of insects. It amounts to a biodiversity crisis that spans the globe and threatens every ecosystem.
Rebecca Pow MP said: “It is important we act quickly on the advice of the Climate Change Committee if we are to avert the climate crisis. When I meet the PM I shall also be stressing that tackling the devastating decline in biodiversity needs to be part and parcel of getting to grips with the climate change issue. I am pleased the Chancellor has called for a Review on the Economics of Biodiversity to better inform the policies that need to be put in place to address this decline with urgency. I am also meeting with him to push this agenda further and will be taking a delegation of like-minded colleagues with me. Many of my constituents have raised these issues with me including: Transition Wellington, Taunton Green Parents, many religious groups and Extinction Rebellion and I will represent their views in my meetings with the PM and the Chancellor.”