In My View: Marsha de Cordova, MP for Battersea

COP 26 should have been a watershed moment for world leaders.

In the lead up to COP26 my constituents in Battersea were clear – from small business owners, to churches, to our young people – the time to be ambitious and take action is now.

We stood united in our call to; keep 1.5C alive and halve global emissions by 2030, protect and restore nature locally and globally and significantly increase financial support for developing countries to help them fight climate change.

COP26 should have been a watershed moment leading to the transformational change we needed from our world leaders. We hoped for agreement on a plan to tackle the climate emergency.

This was not reached until late Saturday night. The issue of cutting emissions should have been straightforward, but that was not the case.

Countries have been instructed to come back in 2022 with clear commitments to reducing emissions, to combat the rising warming levels of 2.4C.

To keep 1.5C alive the next 12 months will be critical.

An insurmountable amount of pressure must be applied to countries including the UK Government. As Ed Miliband MP says ‘1.5C is in intensive care and we have 12 months to save it’.

Whilst this agreement is the first to mention fossil fuels, there is no phasing out of coal permanently, but merely to phase down its use without any defined timeline. Disappointingly, the agreement doesn’t even mention oil or gas.

Whilst there was some support for developing countries, it didn’t go far enough and as the Prime Minister for Barbados Mia Mottley said in her speech, ‘failure to provide the critical finance, the loss and damage will be measured in lives and livelihoods.

It is immoral and unjust’.

She’s right, there is no point being part of the UN with global leaders if they are not willing to take a stand and lead.

That’s why ahead of COP26 I called on the UK Government to show real leadership and create a green recovery that will achieve economic, climate and social justice.

Labour is absolute in it’s ambition for this country, from pledging to invest 28 billion every year between now and 2030, insulating every home, cutting carbon emissions and energy bills, to creating green jobs in industries to support the climate transition.

We needed decisive action now. A years’ time is too late.

The young people that I’ve met across Battersea recently give me hope as we continue to fight on for climate justice.



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