By Jacklin Kwan
OLDHAM East and Saddleworth MP Debbie Abrahams has added her voice to those of other MPs and environmental campaigners supporting the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill
The Bill calls on the Government to ensure the UK plays a “fair and proper role” in limiting global heating to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, as advised by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Actions include protecting and restoring the country’s natural ecosystems, tackling global supply chains that contribute to harmful greenhouse gas emissions, and establishing a Citizens’ Assembly to include local groups and individuals in a new CEE Strategy.
Mrs Abrahams, who has signed to support the motion along with 68 other MPs so far, said: “Climate change is the most serious issue facing the planet.
“I will do all I can to help enact the CEE Bill before the UN climate conference in Glasgow next November.
“The CEE Bill is a golden opportunity to fix our climate and restore the natural world.
“It offers a viable route to tackle the environmental crisis, and I call on the Prime Minister to ensure the Bill becomes law.”
The CEE Bill was drafted by expert scientists, academics and lawyers, as well as members of the ‘Big Ask’ campaign by Friends of the Earth, which led to the Climate Change Act 2008.
Currently, the UK has pledged to reach net zero emissions by 2050 but the Bill’s advocates say such a timeframe would only give it a “50:50 chance” of limiting warming to 1.5C.
The Bill argues that the UK, as a large consumer of imported goods, drives the creation of greenhouse gases involved in manufacturing and transport in other countries – even though such ‘consumption emissions’ are not counted in the conventional carbon emission reporting.
Unfairly, the nations least responsible for global heating would be the ones worst affected by the climate crisis, the Bill noted.
Dr Amy McDonnell, from the CEE Bill Alliance, said: “With the Climate Change Act over a decade old, we need to plug the holes in current UK legislation.
“We need to take responsibility for emissions and waste all along the supply chain, and not only refrain from polluting but also actively conserve environments along that chain.”
Alison Brittle, on behalf of Saddleworth ecoEvents which aims to get people involved with sustaining and improving the local environment, said there is a growing band of local residents concerned with the impacts of climate change.
She commented: “It is vital that the UK Government prioritises policies that lead to a green and fair recovery from the current COVID-19 crisis.”
The campaign for the CEE Bill was launched in August and the Bill was introduced in the House of Commons in September by Caroline Lucas MP for its First Reading. The Second Reading is due on March 21, 2021. To read more about the Bill, visit: www.ceebill.uk/