UK Government First In The World To Declare Environment And Climate Emergency

While the Britons may not be quite certain about their post-Brexit future, they are dead certain that it’s high time we changed our attitude towards our planet.

In a historic move, the UK parliament has become the first in the world to declare an environment and climate emergency, UNILAD’s Lucy Connolly reports.

The motion, which recognises the clear and present danger of the fast-paced global warming, follows a series of protests organized by climate change activists over the past few weeks across the UK.

Protesters demanded to have their voice heard, with nonviolent resistance movement Extinction Rebellion being ongoing since April 15th, and it appears to have worked.

As reported by The Independent, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called for the motion to ‘set off a wave of action from parliaments and governments around the globe’.

In an emotional and deeply moving speech, he said:

“We pledge to work as closely as possible with countries that are serious about ending the climate catastrophe and make clear to US president Donald Trump that he cannot ignore international agreements and action on the climate crisis”.

Introducing the motion yesterday (May 1st), Corbyn called on MPs not to close their eyes to the ‘devastating impact’ that the coming decades of unpredictable and extreme weather will have on all walks of life.

The motion was passed at the first reading after UK Prime Minister Theresa May decided not to whip her MPs against Labour’s proposal.

During the constructive debate on the motion, Environment Secretary Michael Gove said the government recognises ‘the situation we face is an emergency’.

Yet, unlike his Labour colleagues, he refrained from officially declaring a state of environmental emergency.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Gove described the current climate situation as follows:

“It is a crisis. It is a threat that all of us have to unite to meet. Five of the warmest years that this planet has endured have happened since 2010. The consequences for all of us are visible.

While statistics can sometimes be abstract and the impact can seem distant, we can all know that as individual citizens and as parents that the next generation will face the consequences if we do no take action now to deal with climate change.”

He also insisted the government should introduce the legislation ‘shortly’ to ensure the UK has the ‘highest standards of environmental protection’.

Mr. Corbyn added that the climate crisis will ‘spiral dangerously out of control’ unless we take ‘rapid’ and ‘dramatic’ action immediately.

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