I started this week in Parliament by welcoming the change of target from 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050 to net zero carbon emissions by 2050
This step in the right direction is very much for all of those climate activists who did everything they could to say enough is enough we need to act. From those who went on strike from school to those who protested on the streets of London, you helped put the pressure on government to make this move.
I also paid tribute in my speech to Ed Miliband who took the 2008 Climate Change Act through parliament as the then Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. Ed added a clause to that act so that targets could be changed more easily in the face of new scientific evidence which is what the Government have now done.
This is however only a first step. Currently government policies are not sufficient to meet carbon budgets designed for the earlier target of 80% carbon reduction. I invited the Minister to sit down with us to come up with a raft of policies that would get our current carbon budgets back on track.
I also urged the Minister to urgently proceed not only with plans for low carbon energies but for negative carbon policies such as radical afforestation which will be needed to reach our net zero target.
We now have the targets but together we need to work to make sure that we have the policies that will enable us to meet those targets and deal with the very real climate emergency we have on our hands.
I’m supporting USDAW’s Time for Better Pay campaign and I’d like to hear from you about your experiences working in retail in Southampton.
When USDAW surveyed their members working in shops across the country they found that 92% of workers had seen no improvement in their financial situation in the last 5 years and 76% of workers have had to take out an unsecured loan to pay the bills.
Many are on zero hour, or low hour contracts and don’t know how much work they are getting from one week to the next. Constituents have told me of being promised full time hours only for them to be cut back after busy times.
Shop workers keep the retail industry going and deserve better than this. I’m supporting USDAW’s calls for £10 minimum wage, 16 hour contracts for everyone who wants one, contracts based on an individuals hours of work and an end to zero hour contracts.
Do you or any of your family work in retail? Let me know if you’ve faced an of the above issues. You can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org