Global Climate Strike statement

The government has already committed the UK to becoming carbon neutral by 2050. This can be done without any overall job losses or cuts to living standards.

Groups like Extinction Rebellion are demanding that we become carbon neutral in just six years. This would mean no flying, no more cars and an end to our manufacturing industry. It would have a catastrophic impact on jobs and the economy. But it would make no difference to world temperatures because Britain emits less than one per cent of man-made carbon dioxide, while China alone emits around 29 per cent.

Countries such as China and India will not consider going carbon neutral if they believe it will hit their economies. So by giving in to these demands we would destroy our economy, have a minuscule impact on world carbon emissions, and discourage the big carbon emitters from following suit.

Furthermore, whilst these groups say they want to be carbon neutral, they very often oppose technologies like nuclear power - which could actually enable us to achieve this.

I believe young people should be in school but I have written to every school in Monmouthshire to say that I would be happy to come in and discuss this issue with those who want to go on strike. So far none have taken up the offer.