In Parliament this morning, Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner urged the Department for International Development Minister to act, following the publication of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report this week.
In the report, the world’s leading climate scientists warned there is just over ten years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C – beyond which even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people – including for citizens of the UK. It calls in particular for a target of net zero emissions by 2050 which Daniel Zeichner has called for, but is not current UK policy.
Mr Zeichner described the horror that many in Cambridge felt at the devastation caused by the floods in Kerala this summer, and called on the Government to act to help stop future natural disasters caused by extreme weather.
He urged the Minister: “ Members of the Keralan community across the UK are understandably aghast at recent events. Will the Minister say whether, in the light of this week’s report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Government will heed the advice of the world’s leading climate scientists to enable us to make the rapid, unprecedented and far-reaching transitions that will be needed to avoid similar crises in future?“
The Minister, Harriet Baldwin MP, responded: “ We certainly welcome the report, and I hope the hon. Gentleman welcomes the Government’s commitment to contributing £5.8 billion between 2016 and 2020 to make a difference in this area. Since 2011, 47 million people have been helped to cope with the effects of climate change and 17 million have been helped to access clean energy, but there is more to do and we will do it.“
Daniel Zeichner comments: “It is vital that the Government acts now, before it is too late. This expert report on Climate Change warn us that we have only 12 years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C, beyond which even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people. This means action must start today, and we must commit to this as a national priority.“