Blogs > John Glen Salisbury MP > View from the Commons 18th June

View from the Commons 18th June

18th June 2019

I was interested to note that Salisbury City Council has become the latest tier of local government to turn its attention to climate change.

I am glad the local Extinction Rebellion protest at The Guildhall ran smoothly and peacefully and I hope the participants felt they had expressed themselves freely and been heard. The right to do so is a cornerstone of our democracy.

I am still seeing a constant stream of constituents on this topic. As I assure them all, I welcome any sincere commitments to take our responsibility to the next generation seriously – so long as we first make sure we are actually in a position to follow it up with tangible action.

That is why I had my reservations when Parliament voted to declare a climate change emergency, because the motion proposed no action and therefore risked being an empty gesture.

I did not support the deliberately chaotic and disruptive protests in London, which inconvenienced and endangered ordinary people going about their business – many of them equally passionately committed to reducing their environmental impact as the protesters.

Action which forces knee-jerk reactions will not save the planet. Thought-out, costed and deliverable behavioural change might.

Long before Extinction Rebellion became a household name, the government was working with the independent Committee on Climate Change to assess the practicality of becoming the first major economy to commit to a zero carbon goal.

The UK has always been a global leader in tackling climate change - from being the first country to raise the issue on the international stage to cutting emissions faster than our peers.

We want to continue to lead the way and that’s why we are introducing a legally binding net zero target to end the UK’s contribution to global warming entirely by 2050.

We are doing our bit – the biggest challenge now is ensuring other countries follow suit.

I was also pleased with this week’s announcement of  the next steps in the government’s mission to improve the status and treatment of mental health in this country. The NHS Long-Term Plan is already increasing spending on mental health by £2.3 billion a year in real terms - with funding for young people’s mental health rising faster still.

The government has now set its sights on a quantum leap forward in the prevention of mental illness. To that end, it has announced a set of measures designed to make sure that recognising and preventing mental illness gets the urgent attention it deserves at every stage of life.

Posted by John Glen at 5:04pm

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