According to Ed Miliband, young climate strikers have sparked global action against the crisis


Labor’s Ed Miliband credits young climate strikers with finally waking up governments around the world.

Speaking to the Mirror’s NextGen project, the Shadow Climate and Net Zero Secretary hailed young people as catalysts for change.

“There are people who are pushing for more government ambition – climate strikers are doing it,” he says.

“There are so many different movements pushing this agenda.

“I think the climate strikes had an impact on parents, governments and political parties.

“Young people will push us politicians to go further, go faster, it’s really necessary.”

The recent IPCC report on climate change made for somber reading.

It warned that the window for action was “close and quick”.

Young people strike for climate protection


David Cliff/SOPA Images/Getty Images)

And yet Mr. Miliband is optimistic – and determined – that change will come.

“The IPCC report was the clearest warning yet of the dangers of our inaction,” he says.

“It also tells us that some pretty negative changes are inevitable and the window to action is closing, but it still says there is time to act and I think that’s really important.”

“I don’t think it’s just a message of hopelessness – there’s a message of what we can do, but we have to move on with it and this is the crucial decade, these are the crucial years.”

The doomsday report brought little comfort to young people already worried about their future, but Mr Miliband believes it is crucial that politicians “understand”.

He says: “I understand why people are anxious. What is the best way to deal with this fear?

Climate activist Greta Thunberg


(Getty Images)

“There is a sense that you are doing something to try and make a difference. We can all do something to make a difference.

“We can take action needed to address the climate threat and thereby create a better world as well.

“If you think about the problem of insulation, this is one way to combat energy shortages.

“If you think about helping the steel industry, it’s about creating good jobs at decent wages. “It’s about changing the way we get around – electric cars, public transport – to reduce air pollution.

“There is a positive hopeful agenda here, as well as the absolutely necessary truth-telling that we need and the absolute action that we need on climate catastrophe.”

At an already dark time for humanity, the Russian invasion of Ukraine sent a clear message that a shift away from fossil fuels is urgently needed.

Last week there were calls for Boris Johnson to postpone Britain’s net-zero target for 2050, but Mr Miliband says it’s not the answer.

He says: “We should definitely not postpone or delay our goals, quite the opposite. The crisis is a fossil fuel crisis.

NextGen contributor Annie Bocock, a climate activist


Annie Bocock)

“It’s an appalling international crisis caused by Putin’s aggression, but the lesson on energy policy is that we must reduce our fossil fuel decency.

“As long as we are dependent on fossil fuels, we are subject to prices on the international market.

“The message has to be: We go further and faster with the green transition.”

Mr Miliband says that under a Labor government a new department on climate change and Net Zero would be created and young people’s involvement would be crucial.

“One of the things I’m thinking about is how I can involve young people and people in general, but young people in particular, in the work of this new department,” he explains.

“We also need to find ways to engage with young people locally and nationally better than we do.”

Younger generations will feel the most extreme effects of the climate crisis in their lives if no action is taken this decade.

But Mr Miliband says the current Tory government is in no position to lead that change.

Mr Miliband says the UK government needs to do more to move away from fossil fuels


(Getty Images)

He says: “The most important thing is that we are fully committed to the zero-carbon transition and will not go both ways.

“Take onshore wind, the cheapest source of energy available, on which the government still has an effective moratorium through planning regulations.

“If we had gone ahead with onshore wind, we would be even less dependent on Russian oil and gas imports. That makes no sense.

“Unless we invest at scale, we will never shape this green transition in a way that meets urgency or is fair.

Let me give you a very clear example of what energy efficiency is. We have some of the worst insulated homes in Europe. There are 18 million households below EPC Band C.

“If we insulated these homes we could reduce our import dependency, we could cut bills and create jobs. Why isn’t it happening?

“Because the government refuses to make the necessary investments.

Despite the bleak outlook, Mr. Miliband is determined to bring about change



“Labor has said we would invest six billion a year to complete this insulation. We must take immediate action to address the cost of living crisis.”

It’s clear there is a mountain to climb against a ticking clock, but the former Labor leader is “determined” to bring about much-needed change.

He says: “I am determined. We must be determined. We face a really, really daunting challenge. And all science tells us how scary that is. It’s absolutely surmountable.

“The limits are not technical, the limits are imagination and political will.

“So the most important thing is the determination not to be derailed from this course, this course is absolutely fundamental for the future.”

He adds: “And [we need] to be convinced that in tackling this crisis we can create a better world for people.

“Yes, we must avoid the catastrophe of climate change, but we can create a better world if we do, by taking action to clean our environment, clean our air, improve our transportation and our homes.

“All these things can get better for people, it can be a better world.” According to Ed Miliband, young climate strikers have sparked global action against the crisis

Fry Electronics Team

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