The devastating impact of coronavirus is rightly dominating the headlines, but other stories of magnitude are cutting through. Parts of the west coast of the United States are currently experiencing a seemingly apocalyptic front of climate change; devastating fires fanned by high winds are tearing through the countryside.
This has produced images which, once seen, can’t be forgotten. Skies darkened and turned blood orange by dense smoke, fire blocking out the sun. This brings the real world consequences of the climate emergency home just as we saw last year with the devastating floods that tore through South Yorkshire destroying our homes and businesses.
At the same time, the newly published WWF Living Planet report, details the horrifying impact of our economy on the natural world. Since 1970, global wildlife populations have plummeted by 68%. We are currently witnessing the sixth global mass extinction event.
These issues are not unrelated but it is easy to feel powerless in the face of such crises. Luckily, there is something we can all do, here and now, to tackle these issues together.
The Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill, presented to Parliament by Green MP Caroline Lucas, seeks to bring together action on the Climate and Nature emergencies. The #CEEbill recognises the damage of our economy’s globalised supply chains on both nature and climate. It calls for the protection and conservation of nature as part of our climate mitigation plans and even calls for “natural climate solutions”.
It also fills in the gaps where the 2008 Climate Change Act falls short. It incorporates all UK emissions including those consumption based emissions that the UK is responsible for and, yet, the Government fails to take into account when discussing the UK’s “success” in reducing emissions. Moreover, it ensures a democratic voice is at the heart of UK climate policy and calls for genuine solutions rather than merely relying on speculative and often problematic technological solutions.
This is a potentially transformative bill. We have to fight for it to be passed. This will not be easy but as we have seen on countless occasions before, when we organise and campaign, we win.
Sheffield Young Greens are calling on all Sheffield MPs to back the bill. It is fantastic news that in recent days, Olivia Blake has thrown her support behind the Bill. Just one of our Sheffield MPs, however, is not enough.
We are looking to you, Paul Blomfield, Louise Haigh, Gill Furniss, Miriam Joy Cates and Clive Betts to do all you can to pass this bill and tackle the climate and ecological emergencies with the radical urgency needed.