Hello, my name is Ibrahim Dogus, and I am a Labour councillor in Lambeth.
I want to talk about climate change and how we can safeguard the planet for future generations.
As a councillor, I am lucky to be invited to visit our fantastic schools here in Lambeth and meet some of the young people. This future generation is utterly aware of the dangers of climate change, and what it would mean for their future if we don’t stop global warming.
I support the young people of Extinction Rebellion in their amazing campaign to make us all more aware and to focus politicians’ minds.
The fact is climate change is happening – all around the world we see melting ice caps, forest fires, declining numbers of bees, freak storms and an ocean choked with plastic waste.
Here in London, the air is heavy with pollution and we produce tonnes of waste which ends up in the landfill.
That’s why it was right for the UK Parliament to declare a ‘climate emergency’ and call for urgent action to stop climate change thanks to leadership shown by the Labour Party.
What should we do?
We can all make our own contribution – insisting on not using one-use plastics like coffee cups and straws;
we can use public transport, or walk or cycle instead of using our cars;
we can recycle our waste and make our own compost.
we can grow bee-friendly plants like lavender, even if we only have a windowsill.
And as a council, Lambeth can run its services such as housing and parks to cut carbon, encourage cycling and cut down on waste.
We can use our purchasing power to encourage co-ops and local green schemes.
Lambeth council was the first council in London, and one of the very first in the UK, to declare a ‘climate emergency’ – before Parliament followed suit.
We aim for Lambeth Council to be carbon-neutral by 2030 – setting the standard for other councils to follow.
But it is at the level of Government that we can really make a difference.
The next Labour Government will ensure that 60% of the UK’s energy comes from renewable sources within 12 years.
We will invest in wind turbines, tidal power, and solar power, creating a whole new sector of the economy and the new, skilled jobs that go with it.
We will ban fracking, because it is dangerous.
We will upgrade social housing to meet environmental standards.
We will bring the railway back into public hands, and set up municipal bus services to get people out of their cars and onto affordable, reliable public transport.
We will bring our water industry under public ownership, invest in stopping the leaks, and create a new standard for clean water.
In every policy area, we will reduce the use of carbon, with the goal of a post-carbon economy, and clean up the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat.
And most importantly, the Labour Government will work internationally, especially with countries in the global South, to reduce carbon emissions and ensure tough action on climate change.
This is the biggest political issue – bigger than Brexit – and we must work together, with a great sense of urgency, to fix it.
I can’t look those young people in the eye without knowing we are doing all we can to secure for them a sustainable future.
If you’d like to share your views on how to tackle climate change, please get in touch.