THE BLOG

Climate Change: Do What's Right, Not What's Easy

17/03/2015 17:46 GMT | Updated 17/05/2015 10:12 BST

I believe one of an MP's most important responsibilities is to future generations. Yet too often politicians trade future sustainability for short-term populism. Nowhere is this more clear cut than on the environment.

David Cameron was happy to "hug a husky" and "vote blue to go green" to soften his party's image before the last election. But faced with a recession and rebellious backbenchers it didn't take much for him to instruct his aides to "cut the green crap".

Worse he appointed an environment secretary who called climate change "consistently and widely exaggerated" and a climate change minister who questioned climate change science.

Yet to preserve our environment we must do far more to transition to a low carbon economy: Here in London I worry about air pollution from the queues of cars when I walk my daughter, Aurelie, to nursery. And while we aspire to a cycle friendly city, I never feel safe cycling around Elephant and Castle roundabout to work. We need more segregated cycle lanes to enable safe cycling, not to mention better home insulation and electric car charging points.

I don't just hope to help our country meet this responsibility in parliament, I've tried to do so in my work: I come from a background in green finance, working to enable more environmentally responsible investment practices.

The UK used to be a world leader on climate change and can be again: Labour passed the Climate Change Act in 2008, making the UK the first country to commit to legally binding targets on climate change, and put climate change on the agenda for the G8 in 2005.

This December the world faces a critical challenge to reach an agreement on climate change at the Paris talks and finally replace the 1997 Kyoto protocol. Fail here, and our children will experience the reality of a climate catastrophe.

That is why it is so important for our country to choose a government who can be trusted to do what's right, not what's easy.