Parliament declares climate emergency

In response to increasing public pressure to act, MPs have approved a motion to declare a national ‘climate emergency’ - and businesses must lead the way, says one expert.

Posted on 15 May 2019

 

In response to increasing public pressure to act, MPs have approved a motion to declare a national ‘climate emergency’ - and businesses must lead the way, says one expert.

MPs in the House of Commons approved the motion, which was tabled by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, on 1 May.

While it is a largely symbolic move - it does not force any action on the government - the declaration does show that there is majority and cross-party support in Parliament for stronger action on climate change.

Scotland, Wales and many local authorities across the country - including Preston, South Lakeland, Calderdale and Trafford in the North West - had already declared their own climate emergencies previously.

Parliament’s announcement came just before the government’s independent climate advisory, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), published a landmark report calling for a new binding target to achieve a ‘carbon neutral’ UK by 2050.

‘Be part of the solution’

Gudrun Cartwright, environment director at Business in the Community (BITC) - the Prince’s Responsible Business Network - said: "We have now agreed that there is an emergency and we need to act immediately.

"The findings from our Responsible Business Tracker, released this week, showed that businesses do not yet fully comprehend the existential threat that the dual challenges of climate change and environmental degradation present to business models, communities that we live in and our own hopes for an enjoyable retirement and watching our children and grandchildren flourish.  

"Businesses must now lead the way by using the opportunities given by this emergency to create new products and services, change systems and processes, inspire and engage new talent and find new markets and customers through showing they are part of the solution, not adding to the problem."

 

Posted under Climate Change and What it Means to You on 15 May 2019