party leaders release new pledge to target climate change in the uk

After Greta Thunberg visited the UK, politicians sat down to discuss the next steps for avoiding ecological apocalypse.

by Roisin Lanigan
24 April 2019, 1:18pm

Photography Harley Weir

Yesterday Greta Thunberg -- the 16-year-old renegade activist, Nobel Peace Prize nominee and i-D cover star -- visited the UK and spoke to politicians in parliament to demand action on the planet’s current climate emergency.

At a round table discussion with ministers (notably absent, though invited, were the Prime Minister and the DUP, shock), Greta delivered a powerful speech in which she berated politicians for their lack of urgency.

“You don’t listen to the science [of climate change] because you are only interested in the answers that will allow you to carry on as if nothing has happened,” she told Parliament. “This ongoing irresponsible behaviour will no doubt be remembered in history as one of the greatest failures of humankind.”

And it seems her words have thankfully sunk in. Yesterday, ministers at Greta’s roundtable discussion announced a cross-party response to climate change. They have decided on three actions to avoid ecological apocalypse. Firstly, a commitment to an ongoing cross-party cooperation and dialogue with youth climate strikers, secondly a pledge of political support for youth climate assemblies in towns and cities across the UK, and thirdly a redoubling of their commitment to adhere to the Paris Agreement and keep emissions low enough to meet a 1.5 degrees celsius global warming target.

Alongside these targets the party leaders -- including Caroline Lucas, Jeremy Corbyn and Vince Cable, and just to reiterate, Theresa May and the DUP didn’t bother to turn up -- repeated their support for the voting age to be lowered to 16 and to ensure the British education system emphasises the importance of the environment.

“Climate change is the greatest challenge of our time,” said Caroline Lucas, who called the roundtable. “It is only right that we work across party divides to show leadership on this issue. It is therefore deeply disappointing the government refused to take part in today’s discussion.

“Today, we have agreed a few small steps -- the task ahead of us is to put into action real changes that will ensure young people are guaranteed a secure, safe and prosperous future. We must do what is scientifically necessary, not what’s deemed politically possible.”

It’s time that we put the climate crisis into the spotlight. We’re petitioning the UK government to commit to a yearly National Climate Day, and with your help it can become a reality.

climate change
Greta Thunberg