AS part of the Extinction Rebellion protests around Westminster, climate activists set up a fledgling forest outside Parliament to highlight the need for more trees to absorb carbon emissions.

Llanelli’s MP Nia Griffith visited the forest to collect her native, potted tree and pledged her support for reforestation.

Nia Griffith MP said, “It was great to meet Extinction Rebellion protesters last week and collect my oak tree… one of the billions more that are needed to combat climate change. I brought the tree back to Llanelli, and I’m pleased that the County Council have agreed to plant it in Parc Howard.

“According to the Committee on Climate Change, the UK needs 2.7 billion more trees by 2050 to become carbon neutral. That’s 90 new trees million a year… well above the UK Government’s measly target to plant 11 million in the next few years. We will keep pushing the Tories to plant more trees, and I will continue to support efforts by the local Women’s Institute and community groups like the one in Llanerch to get more trees planted in the area.”

As Extinction Rebellion activists continue to protest outside Parliament, the Labour Party has been setting out its plans to tackle climate change.

Last week, Jeremy Corbyn visited a state-of-the-art wind turbine facility to discuss Labour’s 10-year plan for a massive expansion of offshore wind energy to help tackle the climate emergency, create good jobs and invest in coastal communities. He has also criticised the UK Government’s failure to bring down carbon emissions fast enough and the lack of action on climate change in the Queen’s Speech.

On the Queen’s Speech, Nia Griffith MP said: “This was a missed opportunity for the UK Government to set out the really big, bold action we need on climate change. All we got was a very modest environment bill, with some measures on air pollution and waste. In short, nowhere near enough… especially after nine years of blocking onshore wind development in England and abandoning vital renewable energy projects like the Swansea Tidal Lagoon.

“Labour recognises that we need real government planning and commitment to investing in electricity generation, not piecemeal decisions by a fragmented private sector. That’s why Labour is committed to a dramatic fivefold increase in the UK’s offshore wind capacity, with 37 new wind farms, providing enough electricity for 57 million households and bringing good unionised jobs to coastal communities. This is the sort of investment that will reduce emissions, increase our electricity supply and enable us to tackle the unfair energy prices that our steel industry faces.”

Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party, said: “The full scale of the environment and climate emergency cannot be ignored. As scientists and activists have made clear, we need immediate and radical action to have any hope of keeping temperature rises to a manageable level.

“We know the big polluters and banks won’t take the necessary action. So the next Labour government will kick-start a Green Industrial Revolution, protecting our planet and creating hundreds of thousands of high-wage, high-skill unionised jobs across the country and delivering investment for communities that have been held back for decades.

“Labour’s 10 year plan will provide the massive public investment needed to radically reduce our emissions and secure a future for our planet.”

Shadow Energy Secretary Rebecca Long Bailey MP added, “Tackling the climate emergency is not only the biggest challenge of our generation – it’s also a huge opportunity to invest in British manufacturing and our industrial communities that have been held back under the Tories.

“Labour will increase offshore wind generation sevenfold, delivering 52 gigawatts of wind power through £83 billion in combined public and private investment creating 67,000 good, unionised jobs. That’s four times the investment and three times the jobs brought in by the enormous Hinkley Point C nuclear power project. And our wind power revolution will be built in Britain: instead of jackets for wind farms located in Scotland being made in Indonesia, we’ll bring those jobs back to Fife.

“The Tories want to present this as a binary choice between economic growth and climate justice, but it’s not. Our Green Industrial Revolution will ensure that the costs of the tackling the climate emergency are borne by the richest in our society, not the majority, decarbonising the economy while delivering good jobs for the many.”

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