Dear Member of Parliament
As you no doubt know climate change is the greatest threat humanity has ever faced, and the Climate Change Bill is therefore a welcome first step in tackling this threat.
As it stands the Climate Change Bill, whilst ground-breaking, needs to be improved in two areas: it excludes emissions from international aviation and shipping, and it sets the UK on a trajectory towards an insufficient target of 60% emissions reductions by 2050. The United Nations Development Programme has joined the world's top climate scientists in warning that the Bill must raise its target to 80% and include international aviation and shipping emissions if it is to be a fair and effective mechanism for avoiding dangerous climate change.
Since the Government has yet to concede on these two key issues appropriate amendments have been tabled for the Public Bills Committee. These amendments are:
Amendment 2 - to raise the target from 60% to 80%
Amendment NC1 - emissions from international aviation or international
I am writing to ask you to show your support for these amendments by adding your name to the substantial list of MPs who have already done so.
I understand that you may not be nominated to the Public Bills Committee on the Climate Change Bill and will therefore not be able to vote on these amendments. Nonetheless by signing to show your support for the amendments you will demonstrate the strength of feeling amongst MPs and put pressure on the Government and the Committee to modify the Bill
With your support for these amendments the Climate Change Bill will make the UK a genuine leader in the fight to combat dangerous climate change.
You can contact me by email or at the following address:
20 Jun 2008
HOUSE OF COMMONS
LONDON SW1A 0AA
Mr Denis Walker
2nd July 2008
Dear Mr Walker
Thank you for your correspondence about the Climate Change Bill.
Climate change is one of the great challenges facing the world today. It is as much a social and economic threat as it is an ecological one. We all need to do our bit as individuals, in business and in Government and I agree it is paramount that we take measures to tackle climate change now.
Without prompt and significant action we risk causing irreversible damage. The hardest hit will be those areas and populations that have contributed least to the problem and it should be up to the developed nations to lead the way to a solution, which is why Conservatives campaigned for the Government to publish a Climate Change Bill.
The Bill has already been improved thanks to our efforts in the House of Lords. For example, it now includes:
- A duty upon the Prime Minister to present the Government’s programme for meeting the carbon budgets to Parliament
- ‘Indicative annual ranges’ to increase Government accountability towards meeting the five year carbon budgets
- A requirement that at least 70% of the emissions reduction effort is achieved in the UK, rather than paying other countries to reduce their pollution for us.
Regarding the 2020 and 2050 emissions reduction targets, the Conservative Party believes that this Bill must not legislate for what is politically convenient, but what it scientifically necessary to avoid dangerous climate change.
I am happy to report that Conservative Peers in the House of Lords successfully supported an amendment which requires the 2050 target of a 60% reduction in emissions to be re-examimined by an independent body of experts; the Committee on Climate Change. The Committee shall report back to Government before the first carbon budget is set.
The Conservative Party will support, and a Conservative Government will strive to meet, any revised target established by the independent Committee.
Fundamental to our approach is the widely accepted scientific opinion that if we are to avoid dangerous man-made interference with the stability of the climate system, it is essential to keep the average global temperature rise to below 2 degrees celsius.
We believe that, in achieving this goal, Britain’s economy is in an ideal position to prosper from significant new job creation and greater energy security. This country was the first in the world to industrialise and, with Britain’s strong entrepreneurial spirit, world class research universities and our abundant renewable resources, the UK should once again be at the forefront of a new industrial revolution.
Many of the problems which our country faces today, such as high energy prices and the increasing cost of living, are not going to go away unless we make ourselves less dependent on expensive and polluting hydrocarbons from unstable parts of the world. Now is our opportunity.
The Climate Change Bill will lay the long term policy framework necessary to allow UK business and society to prosper in the low carbon age. The leadership we show on this issue, both at home and abroad, will make Britain a safer, cleaner and wealthier country for ourselves and our children.
Once again, thank you very much for writing to me.
James Duddridge MP