Lord Shiekh makes his maiden speech

Lord Shiekh makes his maiden speech

In his maiden speech in the House of Lords today (Thursday) Lord Mohamed Shiekh, the only Muslim Conservative Peer, will call on the world to stop playing Russian roulette with the future of the planet.

He will urge governments across the world to sign up to increasingly progressive international agreements.

Key Extracts from the speech

“I was brought up in Uganda, a country once described as ‘the pearl of Africa’, by Sir Winston Churchill. As a young boy I used to fish on the shores of Lake Victoria, swim in River Nile and visit our game parks to watch with fascination and awe the beauty of the wild.

“I was lucky enough to see and enjoy the fruits of nature in my youth and it was those experiences that led me to a lifelong love of the environment. I want future generations to be inspired, stirred and captivated by the same natural wonders as I was as a young man. It saddens and worries me when I see the problems that have been created by climate change.

“The fate of Africa’s iconic natural wonders is sadly emblematic of a world in which climate change can be measured not only in temperature increases, but in damage to human society.

“More important than the financial loss is the human cost. It now appears clear that climate change is a threat to the future of the entire world. Hurricanes, floods, drought, tornadoes, wildfires and other natural disasters have caused devastation in certain parts of the globe.

“All countries, especially those which consume vast quantities of energy, must sign up to increasingly progressive international agreements. If we do take the right action there will be dual benefits: we will reduce pollution and also secure our energy supplies for the future.

“There needs therefore to be more efficient fuel consumption, more efficient power generation and a switch towards nuclear and renewables to minimise fossil fuel burn and carbon emissions.

“The first is to live as we are doing, and to play Russian roulette with the future of the planet and our species. The second is to find a new direction and through societal and international action, rebuild and renew our relationship with the natural world

“I would like to end on one of my favourite sayings, which is by Mahatma Gandhi. He said: ‘You must be the change you want to see in the world’.

“We must all be the change we wish to see.”

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Name: Giles Bancroft