MP Alex Chalk on raising ambition and driving action on climate change in Parliament
“We must do everything possible in 2021 to make COP 26 a success.”
Since being elected in 2015, Alex Chalk has worked hard to ensure Westminster sets ambitious climate goals and sticks to them. Alex was vital in getting the UK to announce a net zero target. He successfully campaigned for parliament to commit to net zero by 2050.
Alex’s campaigns also look at protecting the environment from single use plastics and he has pushed for bottle return schemes and eradicated single use plastic straws in his local area.
To stop the climate crisis we need politicians, like Alex, leading the way. That is why Alex won last years MP Climate Champion Action Award.
We spoke to him to find out what drives him to push for change and how constituents can help.
You were hugely involved in getting the UK to announce its net zero targets. What motivates you to push for climate change to be at the forefront of the UK governments agenda?
“My motivation is rooted in the sheer urgency of this issue.
Climate change is no longer some future, theoretical possibility — it is a present, practical reality. The five warmest years in recorded history have been since 2010, glaciers are retreating around the world, and the Ross ice shelf in Antarctica is melting ten times faster than expected.
We can choose to dismiss these events as a coincidence, ignoring the fact that they are taking place alongside soaring levels of carbon dioxide. Or we can listen to the overwhelming majority of climate scientists that this is happening now, and we need to act.”
What further changes would you like to see the government make in 2021 to protect our planet?
“We must do everything possible in 2021 to make COP 26 a success. This summit may be the last, best chance our planet has to roll back the shocking loss of biodiversity as well as slow climate change.
Here at home, I want to see the Environment Bill becoming law in 2021. It will transform the UK’s environmental governance, including by establishing a new Office for Environmental Protection.
The Office will be able to scrutinise environmental policy and law, investigate complaints and take enforcement action when necessary — giving real teeth to this fight.”
How can the public help to lobby the government to keep the momentum going on the climate movement and bring about action?
“Write to your MP! It remains a great way to let the Government know how much you care about these issues, and the action you want to see taken. I certainly read all the messages I get!”
Has your MP worked to deliver climate action in their constituency? If so, nominate them for this year’s Green Heart Hero Award!
Head to https://www.theclimatecoalition.org/green-heart-hero-award-nominations-2021 to submit your nomination.