CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

We have seen minimal government action to reduce UK emissions

14 January, 2021

Camden Future Journal, January 7

• HATS off for having the vision to kick off the year with an issue dedicated to the defining issue of our time, the climate and ecological emergency (CEE), (Camden Future Journal, January 7).

But how disappointing there was only a passing mention of the CEE private member’s bill which we all need to get behind if there is any chance of a liveable future for our children.

The Climate Act 2008 started out as a private member’s bill and while Camden Council leader Georgia Gould, in her contribution, mentions Labour as being the party that introduced it, Sir Keir Starmer and Tulip Siddiq have yet to stand up and support the bill.

If there is any issue above and beyond the point-scoring division of party politics, this is it. And why do we need it?

Since parliament’s declaration of a climate emergency in May 2019 we have seen minimal government action to reduce UK emissions.

We are faced with horrific dangers of global temperature rises, and for the fourth year running the UK government is still way short of meeting its own climate targets with only two of 31 milestones met in the year.

If they were a school they would be under special measures or shut down. There is no accountability for our failing politicians.

That is not to mention melting glaciers, ocean acidification, soil erosion, wildlife loss, degradation of nature, deforestation, air pollution, and rise in zoonotic diseases.

If we don’t act soon it will be too late. This is not alarmist, it is evidence-based and it is already happening around us.

The Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill provides a clear framework, based on scientific reality, and the UK’s commitments under the 2015 Paris Agreement to a 1.5°C global warming limit. It was written by an alliance of scientists, lawyers and activists.

In a nutshell the bill calls for:

— the UK to make and enact a serious plan to fulfil the 1.5° target;

— a plan which does not rely on speculative future technology to save the day, used as an excuse to carry on polluting; and

— a citizens’ assembly to work alongside the government to find a fair and just solution free of competing party positions.

We all, individuals, businesses and organisations, need to stand together in support of this bill.

As a first step I would like to encourage the residents of Camden to sign the petition asking our MPs Tulip Siddiq and Sir Keir Starmer to support the passage of the CEE bill through parliament. (See: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/p/BackCEEBillCamden).

And, of course, to write to them. It does not have to be a long letter. But showing that we all care about the future can make a difference.

For more information see: https://www.ceebill.uk

KATHIE CONN,
NW3

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