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By Earl Russell
Press releases

Labour set to force Commons vote on declaring climate emergency

2 min read

Labour will this week force a Commons vote on declaring a national climate emergency.

The party will demand on Wednesday that the country acts with urgency to slash global emissions by 45% from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching net zero before 2050, according to the Observer.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said the recent climate change protests were a “massive and necessary wake-up call” and that Parliament backing the party’s bid would make it the first national legislature to declare a climate emergency.

He added it would “trigger a wave of action from governments around the world”.

The move comes as confidential documents seen by the paper reveal the Government had spent just £2.82m of an £100m allocated pot to Highways England to tackle air pollution by October 2018, despite a 2020 deadline.

The body said that £7.7m of the fund has now been spent, adding: “We aim to deliver £75m of investment, as set out in the government’s road investment strategy.

“Since 2015 we have been doing the necessary investigation to find meaningful and effective measures to improve air quality alongside our network; to date we have spent £7.7m, of the air quality funds…

“We are also progressing the rollout of the national air quality barrier programme, and continue to support local authorities with the delivery of their clean air zones.”

Labour’s proposal will call for new targets for rolling out renewable and low carbon energy and transport, proper funding of environmental protection, reversing species decline and developing plans to move towards a zero-waste economy.

Influential teen climate activist Greta Thunberg has also backed the party’s move as a “great step”, after she met with Mr Corbyn and leaders of UK political parties in a visit to Parliament last week.

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