Letter from councillor Simon Hogg, Wandsworth Labour leader, to the 12,000 residents who signed this climate change petition
Thank you very much for joining more than 12,000 local people who signed the climate change petition.
It’s fantastic that so many people have got involved in this campaign. It has been particularly inspiring to see so many children passionate about this crucial issue. All real change comes from the grass roots.
We need urgent action on climate change. We can’t carry on down the path we are on without causing irreparable damage to the planet.
Wandsworth Labour believes the environment is the bedrock of our economy, our security and our wellbeing. It is not something separate from us – it is the food we eat and the place we live.
Only through collective action based on justice and solidarity can dangerous climate change be stopped.
We welcome the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, which describes with high confidence the enormous harm that a 2 degree average rise global temperature will cause, compared to a 1.5 degree rise.
The IPCC report also confirms that with immediate and ambitious action from government and local authorities between now and 2030 it may still be possible to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.
We believe Wandsworth Council must play its part. The council will need to work with partners across the borough to become carbon neutral and end our contribution to Britain’s carbon footprint. Citizens, businesses, schools and charities all have a part to play.
Crucially, politicians need to work together on this challenge. An issue of this scale needs long-term commitment.
Labour and Conservative councillors will come together to debate climate change at our next council meeting in July. This is a long-term issue that will require real change and significant new thinking. I’m hopeful the council will agree a comprehensive long-term plan this year.
In Wandsworth, Labour and Conservatives co-operate on several climate change initiatives at present. We have been united in our strong opposition to a third runway at Heathrow – and are working together on plans to decarbonise the council’s pension investments.
Nationally, the Labour Party proposes a green industrial revolution to make our cities liveable, our natural spaces rich and alive – and our own lives satisfying and secure.
Labour’s 2017 manifesto pledged that 60 per cent of the UK’s energy will come from low-carbon or renewable sources by 2030. Last year we committed to a target of net zero emissions before 2050. We will ban fracking and insulate four million homes.
Labour believes there is an environment and climate emergency.
In London, Sadiq Khan has taken tough action on air quality and set out ambitious plans to make London the greenest global city. His plans will make our city a greener, cleaner and healthier place by targeting London’s toxic air, increasing its green cover and making London a zero-carbon city by 2050.
Strong environmental policy is a matter of justice – and ensuring that communities can breathe clean air, drink clean water, afford a good diet and enjoy our green spaces.
Labour’s policies will tackle climate change, improve our environment, and build a sustainable economy.
I’d like to thank you again for signing the petition. I hope you can make it to the Town Hall for the climate change debate on July 17.
Leader, Wandsworth Labour