First Green MP delivers maiden speech in parliament

27 May 2010

The threat from climate change featured strongly in the first speech to the House of Commons by Britain's first Green MP this afternoon. But the new MP for Brighton Pavilion also drew attention to the UK's need for greater gender equality, for an elected House of Lords, for an improvement to Britain's record on civil liberties, and for the introduction of a genuinely proportional electoral system. "Politics needs to renew itself, and allow new ideas and visions to emerge," she told the House.

Finally turning her attention to climate change, Caroline Lucas said:
"I have worked on the causes and consequences of climate change for most of my working life, first with Oxfam - for the effects of climate change are already affecting millions of people in poorer countries around the world - and then for ten years in the European Parliament.

"But if we are to overcome this threat, then it is we in this chamber who must take the lead.

"We must act so that the United Kingdom can meet its own responsibilities to cut the emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases that are changing our climate, and encourage and support other countries to do the same.

"This House has signed up to the 10:10 Campaign - 10% emissions reductions in 2010. That's very good news. But the truth is that we need 10% emission cuts every year, year on year, until we reach a zero carbon economy.

"And time is running short. If we are to avoid irreversible climate change, then it is this Parliament that must meet this historic task.

"That gives us an extraordinary responsibility - and an extraordinary opportunity.

"Because the good news is that the action that we need to tackle the climate crisis is action which can improve the quality of life for all of us - better, more affordable public transport, better insulated homes, the end of fuel poverty, stronger local communities and economies, and many more jobs."

She concluded:

"I look forward to working with Members from all sides of the House on advancing these issues."

Caroline's full maiden speech can be read here.

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