The green benefits of Britain’s EU membership are clear. European rules on environmental protection have made the UK clean up its water and air, protect valuable species and habitats, and protect consumers from dangerous chemicals.
We must move away from the outdated notion that environmental protection and action on climate change are prohibitive to economic growth. The threat posed by Climate Change demands we find opportunities to link ambitious climate action to a broader agenda of long-term energy security through clean energy, international development, innovation and green growth and jobs.
In my new role on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee (ENVI) and as the European Parliamentary Labour Party spokesperson for issues related to environment and climate change, I will endeavour to do just this.
I have also been appointed shadow rapporteur for the Socialists and Democrats group for the revision of the Directive on the reduction of national emissions of certain atmospheric pollutants.
London is one of the worst offenders in the EU for poor quality air and Boris Johnson is failing to protect Londoners. Thousands die every year due to the effects of air quality and on numerous occasions schools have had to close playgrounds because of the threat.
If Boris Johnson doesn’t want to take the proper then policy makers in the EU must, and I will work hard to ensure high air quality standards are reached as soon as possible in London and the UK.