Patrick Vallance has warned MPs that the world is about to be plunged into even deeper turmoil than it was during the Covid pandemic because of the impact of climate change.
The government’s chief scientific adviser gave an emergency briefing to 70 parliamentarians this week, warning of the dangers of the climate crisis and urging them to act.
He was joined by Prof Stephen Belcher from the Met Office, Prof Emily Shuckburgh, from Cambridge Zero and Prof Gideon Henderson, the chief scientific adviser at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. All of them showed MPs slides – like the ones they perhaps became used to during the Covid lockdowns – which can be seen in full on this link.
Vallance warned MPs: “We’ve had two and a half years of a global crisis in the form of a pandemic. We face 50 years of really big problems relating to climate, and that nature of that threat to countries around the world means that this has to be one of the things that has to be on every government’s agenda. There is no way we can pretend it isn’t happening.”
While the scientists made no political recommendations, as they were there simply to present the science, they told MPs that action is needed now to stop the worst effects of the climate emergency.
“To give three observational facts … the world is warmer than it was, the CO2 levels in the atmosphere are higher than they have ever been, and extreme weather events are more common than before all this happened. That’s what we face, and the aim of this briefing is to speak about the science,” Vallance said.