We have a once in a generation opportunity to lead the way on tackling climate change and to introduce bold and forward-thinking green policies.
That’s the message that Louise Haigh MP for Sheffield Heeley will be giving to Senior Negotiators at COP26, putting pressure on them to get an ambitious deal over the line.
Louise will be at COP26 this week and on Thursday (4 November) will be presenting Senior Negotiators with a pack from residents and especially young people from across Sheffield Heeley who, over the past few months, have been sharing with Louise their key priorities for tackling the climate crisis and to help the UK reach net zero.
Louise will be telling the Senior Negotiators: ‘there is a clear demand for radical change in our city; none more so than from young people and schoolchildren. It is their future that is at stake in the talks over the next fortnight, and they are demanding that as our negotiations you do everything you can to secure radical change.’
Over recent months, in their hundreds, schoolchildren have established climate committees, put on assemblies and come together to discuss the action that must be taken, and to present their demands. They are angry that for too long, adults have viewed climate change as tomorrow’s problem.
Louise has been meeting with young people who are part of eco-committees within their schools and also members of the Youth Strike, who are a group of young people under 18 who are taking to the streets to protest the UK government’s lack of action on the Climate Crisis.
This is the decisive decade for action on climate change and that’s why I’m going to COP26 to represent the views of residents in my constituency but more importantly, to ensure that Senior Negotiators hear from young people, as it is their future that’s at stake. The young people I have spoken to are angry and energised to ensure that world leaders agree ambitious targets to help reach net zero.
Over the past few years, we have seen more and more extreme flooding events across South Yorkshire – we mustn’t forget the devastating floods of 2007 and 2019 and we must act now to ensure this doesn’t become a more regular occurrence with increasingly disastrous consequences.
There is no response to the climate crisis that does not confront the problem of fossil fuel supply. I’m really proud the Labour Party has a policy for a Green Economic Recovery, with £28 billion a year for the next decade in planned capital investment brought forward as part of a rapid stimulus package to support up to 400,000 new, clean jobs in manufacturing and other key sectors.
Together we must work to accelerate investment in clean projects such as energy efficiency, flood prevention, offshore wind, cycling and walking infrastructure and the electric vehicle charging network would help to create secure, stable employment in every corner of the country right now.
We must all play our part and act now and I’m imploring Senior Negotiators to listen to these calls and be ambitious in our targets.
Some of the priorities that have been identified by residents across the constituency and Sheffield include
- Making it easier for the community to recycle, offering more household recycling and community recycling points.
- Educating young people about the climate crisis and what changes they could make.
- Encouraging more people to walk and cycle shorter journeys instead of using their cars to travel
- Support communities to transform green spaces and gardens into natural spaces by planting wildflowers, trees and encouraging more wildlife
- Supporting the creation of community nature champions
- Campaigning for cheaper, more reliable, and accessible public transport for all.
The government priorities that have been identified include:
- All new build homes should have electric car charging points
- Better public transport connectivity across England.
- More and better training for green jobs
- Supporting businesses to make green choices and invest in green technology
Sheffield Climate Change march
I spoke at the Sheffield Climate Change march to demand radical action from our leaders now. See my speech below.