Labour, Lib Dems, Greens, SNP and Plaid Cymru supported the proposals
After meeting with climate activist Greta Thurnberg, five opposition parties have agreed to meet regularly with youth climate strikers – among other measures.
The meeting was organised by Green MP Caroline Lucas and attended by the leaders of the Labour Party Liberal Democrats, Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru.
Theresa May and the Democratic Unionist Party were invited but did not attend. Change UK’s leader Heidi Allen apologised for not being able to make the meeting.
The politicians present agreed to work together to develop and make the case for policies to combat the climate crisis.
They also agreed to hold regular cross-party talks with the youth climate strikers and to collaborate on climate change.
The cross-party group also agreed to support the UK’s bid to host the COP26 climate conference in 2020.
The youth climate strikers are planning to hold climate assemblies across the UK and the opposition leaders agreed to actively support and engage with these events.
The parties also agreed that, at a minimum, they would ensure their policies and manifestos are in line with the Paris climate agreement and the Committee on Climate Change’s recommendations to reduce net emissions to zero.
Alongside these initial actions, the party leaders reiterated their support for lowering the voting age to 16 and to ensure that knowledge and information about the causes and solutions to the ecological crises are at the heart of our education system.
Caroline Lucas, who called the round-table, said:
“Climate change is the greatest challenge of our time and it is only right that we work across party divides to show leadership on this issue. It is therefore deeply disappointing the Government refused to take part in today’s discussion.”
“Today, we have agreed a few small steps – the task ahead of us is to put into action real changes that will ensure young people are guaranteed a secure, safe and prosperous future. We must do what is scientifically necessary, not what’s deemed politically possible. ”
Other parties were invited to sign up to the agreement. At the time of publication, Change UK had not responded to a question on whether they would agree to sign up.
Joe Lo is a freelance journalist and a reporter for Left Foot Forward
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