Britain could be taking the lead in tackling the climate crisis. Where’s the ambition? | Keir Starmer

Britain could be taking the lead in tackling the climate crisis. Where’s the ambition? | Keir Starmer

Ahead of Cop26, the Tories are failing to act on their promises. Labour’s bold green recovery plan shows what could be done

It used to be said of a good politician that they were able to make the weather. The metaphor has acquired a literal sense in recent years as humanity’s effect on the climate has become clear. In early July, downpours and flash floods hit parts of Glasgow. As I begin a two-day visit to the city tomorrow, the world is looking ahead to November, when countries’ representatives will gather in Glasgow for the 2021 UN climate change conference (Cop26). The world is looking to Britain, as host of the summit, to deliver. We cannot afford to miss this moment, but I fear we will.

The urgent need for a coherent response is in front of our very eyes. In recent weeks flash floods have immobilised parts of Britain, Germany and China. Towns built on rivers have been destroyed and there have been frightening scenes of train commuters trapped underground in rising water. Record heatwaves and fires have ravaged parts of North America. All over the world, unusual weather events show that dystopia is not on the horizon. It is here today, all around us.

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