Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge, joined young people demonstrating against climate change at Shire Hall today, as part of the “Fridays for Future“ protests, inspired by Greta Thunberg, the teenage activist who started the movement. The protesters then marched to the Guildhall.
Mr Zeichner met with young people on the demonstration to discuss climate change – some of whom had met him previously regarding environmental issues. The rally was addressed by Dr Rowan Williams, the former archbishop of Canterbury.
Earlier this week, Mr Zeichner asked the Chancellor about the freeze on road tax and the effect of this on climate change. He said “The Chancellor says this needs to be balanced against the needs of the Exchequer, but what about the needs of the environment? What effects have we seen during the period of the freeze, with the failure to tackle emissions and with the road transport sector in particular failing compared with others?“
Chancellor Philip Hammond responded:
“We have an extremely good track record on decarbonising our economy. We have set extremely ambitious targets, and we are ahead of all our significant competitors in delivering them.“
Mr Zeichner comments:
“The Chancellor’s weak reply shows how disconnected he is from the issues that really matter to young people. It has been so inspiring to see the passion and commitment from students in Cambridge over the last few months; we should use this moment to make the ‘rapid, unprecedented and far-reaching transitions‘ that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report called for back in October.“
“It’s time for the Government to get serious about the environment – this is not an issue that we can afford to kick into the long grass, we need meaningful change now. This means putting in place sustainable public transport, and making provisions for active travel, so that people can reduce their car use.“
Mr Zeichner recently asked Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary, to meet with young people in Cambridge to discuss their concerns regarding climate change, and he accepted. He has since written to Mr Gove to follow up on the invitation.