Luke Pollard MP addressed a virtual audience from the University of Exeter today as part of a Green Futures event, alongside his opposite number George Eustice MP, and the Deputy Leader of the Green Party Amelia Womack.
Luke, an alumnus of the University of Exeter, told the audience that when it comes to urging other countries to “step up” on green finance, the UK had “lost its platform to be a moral crusader”. He said:
“At the very point when British diplomats are working around the world to try to persuade countries to step up on climate finance we’re stepping back from our commitments to the world’s poorest on international aid, which also has a significant climate impact as well. We seem to be very good at saying, ’do as we say not do as we do’.”
Luke went on to state that the G7 conventions and the Government’s plans for COP26 were a “victory of soundbites over substance”, highlighting the UK’s lack of progress on legally binding carbon targets and Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to take a plane from London to Cornwall for the G7 summit.
Luke argued that more action is needed in order to reach Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050, stating that while the government plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030 this will also require significant investment in infrastructure.
“I worry that so much of the decarbonisation efforts rely on you already being affluent. Lots of people are on low wages and renting in the private sector so don’t have the agency to put in air source heat pumps, triple glazing, external wall insulation or the charging points.
“We’ve got to find a way to make sure decarbonisation is accessible to all, not just to those who have lots of money in the bank.”
Good to go back to my old Uni, albeit virtually, to talk why we need a much bolder approach to the climate and ecological emergency. We can’t solve the crisis with soundbites and press releases only determined and bold action https://t.co/sojVF85QVg
— Luke Pollard MP (@LukePollard) July 20, 2021
You can watch a full recording of the live event here: https://greenfutures.exeter.ac.uk/article/politics-live-event/