Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, MP for Tooting – South London News

Last month, a record-breaking heatwave saw temperatures locally reach 40 degrees for the first time ever. Across London, there were devastating fires, with more than 40 homes tragically destroyed.

We saw the Northern line experience significant disruption as a direct result of increased temperatures.

Many residents have written to me expressing concerns about how unequipped our housing
infrastructure is to deal with extreme heat, with some residents reporting temperatures of over 45 degrees in their homes.

Extreme weather events, such as the one we witnessed in July, increase the pressure on our already overstretched emergency services.

July saw a red weather warning issued locally, meaning the extreme heat was expected to cause illness even among those who are fit and healthy.

The extra demand for services highlighted just how much our emergency services are struggling after 12 years of Conservative mismanagement and underfunding.

All 10 ambulance trusts in England were forced on to the highest level of alert, meaning they were under extreme pressure. This resulted in patients waiting longer for ambulances, and ambulances having to queue to admit their patients to already emergency departments.

It is clear that the longer the Tories are in power, the longer waiting times in our ambulance service will be.

It is crucial that the Government addresses these issues as a matter of urgency, so that our emergency services are better equipped to deal with future extreme weather events.

Instead, the Government is too focused on navel gazing and fighting among themselves.

According to leading scientists, last month’s heatwave would not have been possible without man-made climate change, with experts warning the excess deaths relating to temperatures will be high.

Until the climate emergency is addressed, extreme heat events and their devastating impacts will become more and more commonplace.

That is why I support a climate investment pledge of an additional £28billion each year until 2030 to build the greener, fairer country we need.

It is vital that steps are taken now to ensure we reach our target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Unfortunately, the Conservative Government is falling far short and is failing to invest in a green transition at the scale necessary to tackle the growing climate emergency.

The Tories have no plan to address the climate crisis and no plan to increase the capacity of our emergency services to deal with its effects.

However, rest assured, along with my Labour colleagues, I will continue to pressure the Government to take concrete steps now to ensure we reach net zero by 2050, and ensure this vital matter is given the funding it so desperately needs.

With scientists predicting Britain will swelter in temperatures in excess of 40 degrees more and more over coming years, we simply cannot afford for commitment to net zero to be just another empty Tory promise.


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