The CEE Bill is UK’s roadmap to tackle the climate-nature emergency

In this crucial year for the future of life on our planet, inaction from governments on global heating and the destruction of nature push us closer towards disaster. It’s easy to talk about the climate and ecological crises as if it’s some indefinite point in the future —but the truth is that the emergency is already upon us. From wildfires in Australia and California,  to extreme weather events like flooding, here in the UK—every warning light on the dashboard is flashing red. This devastation will impact everyone, but will hit some faster and harder than others: those facing poverty, people of colour and women will be, and are, feeling the force of the crises first—here in the UK and internationally. 

For these reasons, last September I introduced the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill in the House of Commons. If enacted, it will ensure the UK meets its international obligations on climate change and reverses ecological destruction. The CEE Bill offers MPs a clear roadmap to tackle the climate and nature emergencies and—with two select committees recently urging Ministers to outline their climate plans ahead of COP26—it represents Parliament’s last best chance to set a viable plan that tackles the emergency, head on.

Today, we reached a key milestone in this fight. 100 MPs, from eight political parties, have now pledged to support the CEE Bill. This achievement is testament to the hard work of thousands of campaigners, from all nations in the UK, calling on their representatives to take action. Thank you to everyone who’s taken action—and to my parliamentary colleagues for joining the CEE Bill Alliance.

This milestone is a moment for celebration—but we need many more MPs to back the CEE Bill to stand a chance of changing the law. The Bill is the only legislative plan before MPs that aims to address the climate-nature crisis at the speed and scale the science demands. 

International agreements calling on countries to do their fair share to curb emissions and prevent biodiversity loss shows there is a will to protect future life on Earth while addressing global inequalities. But  signing treaties does not guarantee that commitments will be met. As it stands, the UK is off track to meet its own climate targets—in addition to failing to meet 17 out of 20 biodiversity targets that were set in 2010. 

On global heating, the IPCC estimates that a global carbon budget consistent with a 66% chance of limiting warming to 1.5°C amounts to 420 gigatonnes of CO2. With fossil fuels currently being burned at approximately 40 billion tonnes of CO2 a year, on this trend the Paris Agreement-compliant global carbon budget will be used up by 2030.

Domestically, a fair carbon budget for the UK is closer to 2.5 billion tonnes of CO2 over that same period. If we calculate total emissions—and take responsibility for carbon burned overseas in the service of UK consumption—the UK is burning through its fair carbon budget at a rate of 500 million tonnes a year. On this basis, we have around five years left before it’s spent. We cannot wait until 2050 to reach net zero: we have to act now. 

The UK is set to host COP26 in November—the most important summit on climate change in decades—but every day of inaction counts in the battle for our future. The CEE Bill is a chance for the UK to demonstrate genuine climate leadership and more importantly, meaningful action commensurate with the unfolding emergencies. It commits the Government to doing the UK’s fair share to limit global heating to 1.5 degrees, preserving our ecological landscape and crucially, gives people a meaningful say on how we shift to a zero carbon society in a way that is both fair and sustainable.

As I continue to make the case for the CEE Bill in Parliament, we now need your help. So today, please write to your MP and ask them to back the CEE Bill. Or, if they’re backing the Bill, why not thank your MP as part of the #climate100 campaign? Click this link for more information.

The ‘Big Ask’ campaign that launched in 2005 and led to the Climate Change Act 2008 shows what we can achieve when we work together. Join the Alliance today. Take action—and let’s make history.

#CEEBill #climate100



Caroline Lucas

About

Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, former leader and co-leader of @TheGreenParty, Mum