SDLP Climate Champion Cara Hunter has said the heatwave currently sweeping Ireland and Britain highlights the importance of tackling the climate crisis.
She was speaking amid speculation that Tory leadership candidates may roll back the British government’s target to reach net zero by 2050.
Ms Hunter said the current temperatures are abnormal, posing a serious risk to the public. It is likely that these heatwaves will become the norm if climate action isn’t taken seriously.
East Derry MLA Ms Hunter said:
“While many people will enjoy the potentially record-breaking spell of good weather and high temperatures currently being experienced across these islands, this heatwave is more than just a summer sunny spell. These soaring temperatures are a direct consequence of our failure to tackle the climate crisis. It is a warning about the importance of acting before it’s too late.
“In light of the extreme heat being experienced in many areas, it’s extremely concerning to read reports that Tory leadership candidates are considering rolling back on the British government’s commitment to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. With evidence of the impact of the climate crisis all around us, now is the time to be ramping up our response, not dialling it back to pander to right-wing of the Tory party. The future of our planet should not be used as a bargaining chip in this Tory popularity contest.
“For some people in our communities this spell of warm weather will pose significant challenges and we cannot ignore the impact it’s having on our environment. Over the next few days I’d ask everyone to take care, to stay hydrated, to apply sunscreen if out in the sun, to check in on elderly neighbours and to ensure their pets are coping ok. This warm spell will soon pass, but unless we act now, temperatures will continue to rise and the consequences don’t bear thinking about.”