Earlier this year our group wrote to Rebecca Harris to ask if she would support the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill which is being put forward by Caroline Lucas MP. We were, of course, hoping she would support this very important Bill. The Bill which had its first reading in the House of Commons in September this year has a long and arduous route ahead and we had hoped that we could rely on our MP to give it her support. Its second reading will be on 12th March 2021. The Bill was drafted by a broad alliance of scientists, lawyers and activists who see the Bill becoming law as crucial if we are to come close to dealing with runaway climate change. In a nutshell it calls for:
A serious plan to deal with the UK’s fair share of emissions and to halt critical rises in global temperatures.
Our entire carbon footprint be taken into account – in the UK and overseas.
The active conservation and restoration of nature here and overseas, recognising the damage we cause through the goods we import.
Those in power not to depend on future technologies to save the day; technologies that are used as an excuse for us to carry on polluting.
Ordinary people to have a real say on the right way forward in a Citizens’ Assembly with bite.
A simple majority of MPs present (or peers in the House of Lords) need to vote in favour of the Bill in order for it to be passed.
This is somewhat of a disappointing response. CPCAG understand that the UK has the Net Zero Carbon 2050 commitment, but very little has progressed towards this in the past 18 months. We have seen piecemeal commitments to date, with only £5 billion of green investment so far being announced by the Conservative Government. Whilst this may sound impressive, it pales in comparison to the £36 billion announced by Germany and £27 billion announced by France. The post Covid-19 recovery, has a chance to address the impact of the economic damage the virus has had on the UK whilst simultaneously moving us towards our carbon targets. 'Build back better', so far has just been rhetoric and we must move beyond this into creating a low-to-no-carbon green economy.
We don't need sound bites. We need action. The clock is ticking