Thank you for contacting me about the government’s promise to Build Back Better from the Coronavirus pandemic. I apologise for the delay in getting back to you.

I wanted to share my thoughts with you on Labour’s position when it comes to prioritising a green and fair recovery.

We are still in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic and we will no doubt be in recovery from the damage it has caused for quite some time. I believe that it is imperative that, as part of that recovery, we recognise that improving people’s lives is just as important as growing the economy.

I was proud to stand on a bold and radical plan to tackle the climate crisis in the 2019 General Election. It is bitterly disappointing that Labour cannot enact this vision in government. I have spoken out about the urgent action that is required when it comes to climate change over the past 15 years as an MP. And whilst this government continues to ignore the seriousness of the climate crisis, I will continue to do so.

Unlike the Tories, Labour recognise the threat of the climate and environmental emergency we are all facing. In government, we would respond to this emergency by kickstarting a Green Industrial Revolution, creating well-paid, good-quality jobs that would lower our energy bills and prioritise sustainability.

As part of their emergency response to the Coronavirus pandemic, local authorities have been introducing measures to make walking and cycling safer. In Islington South and Finsbury, the council has sought to create people-friendly streets to make it as safe, easy and accessible as possible for people to move around the borough using different modes of transport. These measures aim to reduce Islington’s transport-related carbon emissions and help tackle climate change in light of Islington Council’s declaration last June of a climate emergency.

Having seen first-hand the role that the UK can play in leading a global strategy to tackle climate change when I attended COP 15 in Copenhagen back in 2009, I am disappointed that the government are failing to take the opportunity it has to show real global leadership in tackling the climate crisis.

In June, Boris Johnson said that his government will “build back better” and “build back greener”, but the Tories’ previous track record demonstrates very little desire to put environmental issues at the heart of the government’s agenda. We are at a crucial tipping point in our planet’s history and I’m afraid that empty words will not be enough for us to Build Back Better.

Thank you again for contacting me about this important issue and if there are any further points you would like to raise, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Best wishes,

The Rt Hon. Emily Thornberry MP
Islington South and Finsbury

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