Stephen today met with representatives from local climate group, Fossil Free Newham. The meeting followed a debate in the House of Commons in which MPs acknowledged a climate emergency.
During the meeting Stephen agreed to sign the Divest Parliament pledge. The pledge, which has been signed by over 200 MPs calls on their pension fund to phase out its substantial investments in fossil fuels.
Last month, the London Borough of Newham passed a motion declaring a “climate and health emergency’”. The authority set a target for the borough to be carbon neutral by 2030. The motion commits the council to a “green audit” of all its services and states that it will provide air quality monitoring devices in all schools.
Data from Public Health England (PHE) shows seven in 100 deaths of people aged 30 or over in Newham in 2017 are linked to long-term exposure to air pollution. This is one of the highest rates in England.
Speaking after the meeting, Stephen said “We need to work at all levels to address the climate and health emergency we are facing. I am grateful for the recent actions of local climate groups and Newham Council, and I hope the government will act to support these efforts and lead at a national level. In particular, renewable energy has vastly reduced in cost and presents a fantastic opportunity which we need to deliver on.”