Protecting our environment and tackling climate change is one of the most important issues facing us today. All the other challenges we face will count for little if we fail to provide a sustainable planet for future generations. I joined with former Labour leader Ed Miliband MP to secure Government agreement to make the zero carbon emissions target, agreed at the Paris climate talks, legally binding in the UK. Now the Government must fulfil the commitment that they made to us.
Green energy must be a priority, but the Government is cutting subsidies for renewables, while incentivising the carbon-emitting practice of fracking. I challenged the Environment Secretary over the Government’s decision to bring forward cuts to onshore wind subsidies and spoke at a rally in Sheffield against fracking. I have pressed Ministers on their commitment to the Carbon Reduction Plan, pushed the Government to commit to meeting the EU’s 2020 clean energy target, arguing that the vote to leave is not a vote to forget our commitments to tackle climate change, and as part of the Shadow Brexit team I’ve sought to maintain the regulations secured within the EU together with tough enforcement mechanisms. I have made the case locally too; pushing for green policies in the Sheffield Star and organising a public event with Sheffield Climate Alliance as part of my Big Conversation in 2017.
As well as pressing the issues in Parliament, I support practical initiatives and campaigns that will make a difference. I worked with the Green Alliance in a cross-party project to promote community energy (see here) and am a member of Sheffield Renewables. I have supported Climate Change Ambassadors, worked with the Sheffield Climate Alliance and backed campaigners for a Carbon Neutral University.
Supporting cycling and walking
I’ve also campaigned to make it easier for people to cycle and walk. I am a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Cycling, supported the ‘Get Britain Cycling’ cross-party report in a parliamentary debate and backed the ‘Living Streets’ walking campaign, which makes it safer and easier for older people to get around the local neighbourhood.
This is a selection of my work on these issues. Please get in touch if you want to find out more.