Lib Dem MPs have been leading the debate on fighting climate change by trying to get the Government to sign up to 10:10 this week. Having been at the 10:10 launch, I was delighted to see this motion tabled – and I’d certainly have voted for it if I was in Parliament.
10:10 is the initiative to get individuals and organisations to commit to start reducing carbon emissions right now, by reducing 10% by the end of 2010. Islington Council has signed up and so have many individuals (the Fox-Turnbull household is doing its bit by replacing our old boiler with a combination one).
With endorsement from so many campaigners, including the 38 Degrees pressure group, and with the Copenhagen summit coming soon, this would have been both popular and good, the right decision at the right time.
After all, we are the first generation to understand the full impact of climate change, and the last to be able to do something about it.
So did Labour embrace the opportunity? No they did not. Despite many individual Labour MPs and ministers pledging to back 10:10, when it came to the vote they rejected any commitment to specific action by the Government, voting through an amendment full of vague praise for existing schemes instead.
Warm words and photo ops from Labour politicians are a waste of time if when it comes to taking real action now on the environment they refuse.
Signing up to the 10:10 initiative would have made the Government’s commitment to action clear ahead of the Copenhagen summit. But once again we will get words without action. It’s shameful that weak-willed Labour MPs let the Government whips defeat this vital move.