Climate change is a threat not just to the environment, but to people. And it's the poorest people who are most exposed. Tens of millions have been lifted out of poverty in the last 15 years, but more than one billion people still live in absolute poverty on less than $1.25 a day. Climate change also presents a growing danger to Britain. Flooding is the greatest threat to the UK from climate change, with up to 3.6 million people at risk by the middle of the century. The 2007 floods in Britain were a powerful reminder that, even in developed countries, climate change is national security issue. I agree with Pope Francis.
If every person in the UK went meat free for one day, it would reduce our carbon footprint by more than if every vehicle in the UK was taken off the road for one day! As well as being responsible for a huge amount of global greenhouse gas emissions, meat production requires increasingly unsustainable levels of precious resources - land, water and energy...
Whether man-made climate change is occurring or not, there are few who would argue against a move towards low-carbon energy generation. One way or another, carbon emissions must be cut. Forget the tired anti-nuclear rhetoric and the ridiculous claims that a Fukushima-style disaster could hit the UK. Third generation nuclear is the way forward and the new reactors planned at Hinkley Point are the first step in the right direction.
Aging Tory ministers might be in denial about the reality of climate change and the urgent need to tackle it, but students and young people aren't. We are increasingly aware of the dangers climate change poses for our future and that's why it should come as no surprise that the rising environment movement is young, vibrant and determined to play our part in tackling this huge challenge.