Page 276 - Week 01 - Thursday, 10 February 2022
We heard from Minister Vassarotti about how important it is that we properly resource our Environment Protection Authority so that we can take firm steps to protect our environment and look after our climate. We must put the right people and the right amounts of funding into that authority to make sure that those things are happening. We also heard from Minister Vassarotti about her other portfolio, sustainable buildings. It is a really key portfolio as we move ahead into a much hotter and less predictable world. Unfortunately, we are going to have more heatwaves and we will have more extremes. We need to make sure that we are building sustainably so that people who cannot necessarily afford to pay thousands on their bills can still live in relative comfort. There are so many opportunities in that sustainable building portfolio, and I am delighted to see Minister Vassarotti holding it.
We heard from Mr Braddock about the 150 countries who have already enshrined this right. And we heard about some of the particular people who are suffering from the lack of a healthy environment and also what they have done about that. We have heard about some amazing litigation that recognises parents, children and future generations and how all of those people have a right to a healthy environment. These are not people in powerful positions in society. They do not have a lot of money. They do not have a lot of status. Yet the right to a healthy environment has allowed them to speak up for their own rights, for the rights of their children and for the children who are not yet born. It was fantastic to hear that.
We heard from Minister Rattenbury about how interlinked our economy and our environment is. It is really good that, in here, we have different conversations about climate and environment. We often hear this really false dichotomy—that is, environment or economy. It is simply false. I will quote something else Minister Rattenbury said earlier today. He said, “Physics beats politics.” Our natural system does not care what politicians say or think. It does not care what our economists say or think. It is changing and it has certain natural limits. We need to look after the climate and the environment, and we need to do that with the economy. We need to do it by recognising that, actually, there are no losers here if we do it the right way. We will save more money the earlier we act. Early action is much simpler and easier and cheaper to take, and we will create so many green jobs as we do it. There are so many more jobs in genuinely sustainable industries like recycling and renewables than there are in some of our old industries like fossil fuels.
We heard from Mr Davis, who is always very connected to young people, about some particular tales from young people. We heard about young people who are looking ahead to a better world, imagining when they are adults and imagining when the world is different because of the decisions that are taken now. Let us look ahead to a better world in 30 years. I think that is a fantastic way for young people to think about their future, and I really want to empower young people to do that as much as possible. They can make a difference and we can actually shape things. It is better to look ahead to what we have done right and to see how the world will be better if we get it right now.
We heard quite a lot today about the impacts of climate change. There is no point going on about that. We have had a motion already today—a direct climate change