The Climate Coalition brings together many different people, charities, and faith-based groups to campaign jointly on the climate crisis. Green Christian is a member of the coalition as are CAFOD, Christian Aid, Tearfund, A Rocha, the Salvation Army, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, RSPB, WWF… in fact, there’s a good chance that if you are involved in another environment or development charity, they are a member of the Climate Coalition.
And if you are involved in any of these groups you will probably have been invited to join the mass Lobby of MPs at Westminster on 26th June.
Green Christian encourages as many of you as possible to go along, and join other people from your constituency in lobbying your MP on the bridges and embankments surrounding the houses of Parliament.
We agree with the Climate Coalition’s message that urgent action needs to be taken to prevent catastrophic and irreversible climate breakdown. The UK Parliament has already declared there to be a climate emergency, and on 12th June the government committed to legislate for net-zero by 2050 in line with the recent advice of the Committee on Climate Change.
Green Christian agrees with the Climate Coalitions response – that net-zero should be achieved sooner, but while they say 2045, we say ‘no! much, much sooner’. We have set out our position that the target for net-zero emissions should be 2025.
We say that 2025 should be the target date for net-zero because:
- The scientific reports presented to governments do not take into account the slightly less certain climate science, including feedbacks which could result in runaway climate change even at relatively low increases in global temperatures. We do not want to take that risk.
- The morality is clear: we have known about climate change since at least 1980 and must not leave it to another generation to sort out. We also owe a massive climate debt to the poorer countries in the world. We were the first country to industrialise and we ought to be among the first to decarbonise
- The 2050 and 2045 targets assume ‘business as usual’ without any challenge to our tried-and-failed model of economic growth
- If we genuinely believe this to be an emergency we can take emergency measures to ensure the necessary changes – such as seen during the 2nd World War.
We have no time to spare, and no need to wait for further science or new technologies. It is political choice that determines what is ‘feasible’, and it is time to demand that our politicians face up to this issue as one of morality and justice.
If you agree with Green Christian’s position, you might find it awkward to be part of a crowd demanding something less, well, demanding! Don’t let this put you off going to the lobby, but do be honest with those you are going with, that you are disappointed in the lack of urgency in the Coalitions target.
Talk to fellow lobbyists, about how the climate crisis is, in fact, an emergency
- Do not get bogged down in the science. Explain that there is a lot of uncertainty in the levels of risk. For political reasons the IPCC only include the most certain of scientific judgements in their reports, but when it comes to protecting the ability of our planet to sustain life, we really can’t take any chances.
- Talk about the morality of the case. That we owe it to the next generation not to burden them with this. Talk about children and teenagers you know to get this point across. Mention that we have missed too many opportunities in the past, from as early as the 80s.
- We also owe it to those living in poorer countries, the UK, as the first industrialised country, should be among the first to de-carbonise.
- Go easy on the guilt! The point is we can do something now, as long as we treat it like an emergency, and mobilise in a way last seen during the second world war.
While talking to your MP with fellow lobbyists
- You are there as an individual and you should tell your MP why you think 2025 should be the target.
- But do not argue with other lobbyists present about the dates you can all agree on saying ‘as soon as possible – this is an emergency.’ You could also mention that many local councils are aiming to achieve net-zero carbon by 2030.
- The most important thing is that your MP sees the strength of your feeling on this matter, and is encouraged to agree that climate change is the most important threat to everyone’s wellbeing, health, prosperity.
- Ask your MP to commit to taking action and assure him or her that you will keep a close eye on the way they vote, and will keep in touch with them about the issue.
If you are a bit anxious about how to lobby your MP on the day, watch this short video from the Climate Coalition