Rich 'deny politics of climate breakdown'

| 5th February 2020
'Climate breakdown is with us already, but still the powerful ignore the warnings.'

In this fight our enemy travels by private jet and not migrant dinghy. 

The rich and powerful are choosing to deny the politics of climate change, according to Zarah Sultana, the 26-year-old Labour MP for Coventry South.

Sultana said that while the "world burns", those who are rich will continue to "build higher walls to protect themselves" from the impact of the crisis.

"Climate breakdown is with us already, but still the powerful ignore the warnings," said Ms Sultana. "There was a time when many of them denied the science, but today there's a different kind of denialism - they don't deny the science, they deny the politics.

Risks

"They pretend that business as usual can combat the climate emergency, that banning plastic straws, using bags for life or tweaking the system is enough. While the world burns, the rich will build higher walls to protect themselves.

She added: "They'll let refugees drown and the dispossessed starve. That is one future, but there is another.

"If we unite people across borders, if we recognise that in this fight our enemy travels by private jet and not migrant dinghy, we can have a global green new deal and it will look like this - dismantling the fossil fuel industry, taking resources away from a handful of private profiteers and using them to plan a better future."

Theo Clarke, the Conservative MP for Stafford, said: "The science is clear - if we continue to pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, climate change will continue to get worse and temperatures will continue to rise, along with associated impacts and risks particularly with more severe and frequent extreme weather."

Industrialised

She added: "To avoid the worst impacts of climate change, we need to stop adding to greenhouses gases in the atmosphere."

Caroline Lucas, the Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion, said: "Climate change is happening now and those who have done the least to cause it are the ones that stand to lose the most. Climate justice, to put it bluntly, is a question of who lives and who dies."

Wera Hobhouse, the Liberal Democrat MP for Bath, said: "The climate emergency will affect us all, but it will affect some of us more than others. The longer this government waits to implement meaningful climate action, the more people will suffer."

Chris Law, the Scottish National Party MP for Dundee West, said: "While it's been the most developed and industrialised countries that have been the biggest contributors to carbon emissions, it is the poorest communities in the world who feel the devastating impact of climate change.

Communities

"We must recognise this reality and our obligation to right this wrong."

Andrew Stephenson, the foreign minister, said tackling climate change is the responsibility of everyone in society. "The science is clear - carbon levels in the atmosphere have reached their highest levels for three million years and the climate extremes are already damaging prosperity, security and human safety globally.

"Successfully tackling climate change will require action of the whole of society, from governments to business, from communities to all of us and the choices we make."

This Author

Lewis McKenzie is the PA parliamentary reporter. Image: BBC Parliament Live. 

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