As part of the Extinction Rebellion protests around Westminster, climate activists set up a fledgling forest outside Parliament to highlight the need for more trees to absorb carbon emissions.
It was great to meet Extinction Rebellion protesters last week and collect my oak tree… one of the billions more that are needed to combat climate change. I brought the tree back to Llanelli, and I’m pleased that the County Council have agreed to plant it in Parc Howard.
According to the Committee on Climate Change, the UK needs 2.7 billion more trees by 2050 to become carbon neutral. That’s 90 new trees million a year… well above the UK Government’s measly target to plant 11 million in the next few years. We will keep pushing the Tories to plant more trees, and I will continue to support efforts by the local Women’s Institute and community groups like the one in Llanerch to get more trees planted in the area.
The Queen’s Speech was a missed opportunity for the UK Government to set out the really big, bold action we need on climate change. All we got was a very modest environment bill, with some measures on air pollution and waste. In short, nowhere near enough… especially after nine years of blocking onshore wind development in England and abandoning vital renewable energy projects like the Swansea Tidal Lagoon.
Labour recognises that we need real government planning and commitment to investing in electricity generation, not piecemeal decisions by a fragmented private sector. That’s why Labour is committed to a dramatic fivefold increase in the UK’s offshore wind capacity, with 37 new wind farms, providing enough electricity for 57 million households and bringing good unionised jobs to coastal communities. This is the sort of investment that will reduce emissions, increase our electricity supply and enable us to tackle the unfair energy prices that our steel industry faces.