Opposition pressures UK government to act on climate change

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon issues a statement on Brexit and independence in the main chamber at the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, Wednesday April 24, 2019. Sturgeon says she wants to hold a new referendum on independence from the U.K. by 2021 if Britain leaves the European Union, though she acknowledges she lacks the power to make it happen on her own. Scots voted against independence by 55% to 45% in a 2014 referendum billed as a once-in-generation poll. (Jane Barlow/PA via AP)

LONDON — British opposition leaders are pressuring the government to act on climate change after weeks of protests put the issue at the heart of political debate.

Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon on Sunday declared a "climate emergency" during her party's conference in Edinburgh, saying she had been inspired by young activists. Sturgeon says "Scotland will lead by example."

Earlier, the main opposition Labour Party said it would introduce a motion this week to force Parliament to declare an environmental emergency. Such a declaration was a demand of the Extinction Rebellion activists who paralyzed parts of London this month.

Labour's policy is for Britain to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, compared with Extinction Rebellion's 2025 deadline. Scotland's Green Party has criticized Sturgeon's government for moving too slowly on climate change.

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