I was proud to vote for the Paris Agreement on climate change on your behalf and have worked in Europe to ensure that EU law works towards the phasing out of fossil fuels. Ahead of climate negotiations which led to the Paris Agreement I released a report exploring ways to control carbon emissions.
I also produced a well-publicised report detailing how the South West could produce its entire energy needs from a wide range of renewable energy technologies, creating 122,000 jobs in the process.
As an economist and member of the Economics Committee in the European Parliament I have done a lot of work around ‘climate finance’, challenging the European Investment Bank, to stop investing in carbon intensive industries.
I’ve taken a strong stand against fracking, and challenged other South West MPs and MEPs to follow the Greens in supporting a ban on all shale gas exploration. I have championed divestment and made the case for all further fossil fuel reserves to be left in the ground.
I’ve called on the government to follow the European Parliament’s progressive approach, acknowledging investments in pension and investment funds can be a powerful tool in driving social, environmental and economic change.
There is a serious risk that if the Tories win the election they will use Brexit as an excuse to backtrack on climate change. Together with a cross-party group of MEPs, I have been keeping up the pressure by demanding to know how the government plans to fund investment in clean energy after we leave the EU.
We need more Green MPs in Westminster to keep action on our climate at the top of the agenda.