HOW TO DEAL WITH SET CONSERVATIVE AND LABOUR MPs’ EMAIL RESPONSES TO THE CEE BILL?

Check below to see if you are getting the brush off from your MP with a set response. This means that this is not a personal opinion that they are sharing with you but a party line that many MPs are duplicating.

Because the letter hasn’t personally been drafted by your MP, the biggest pressure won’t actually come from building up carefully rationalised arguments, but by NUMBERS! So, if you have received one of these replies, the best thing to do is to ask as many people from your constituency as possible to write, call or tweet your local MP, asking them to support the CEE Bill. However if you do want to try once more we have included suggested speaking points below.

CONSERVATIVE MPs

This is the conservative set letter response:

“Thank you for contacting me about the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill. I understand that this Bill has been developed by campaign members of Extinction Rebellion, Big Ask and Power for the People.

Let me be clear – tackling climate change is a priority for me and my Ministerial colleagues. I am proud that the UK was the first G7 country to legislate to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. While I can understand that you want this target to be achieved sooner, and I share this desire, getting to net zero by 2050 is feasible and consistent with avoiding most damaging climate change. Aiming for zero emissions by 2030 is almost certainly impossible, hugely disruptive and risks undermining consensus. Climate change is an emotive issue, but a cross-community consensus will be required to ensure the UK achieves a transition that works for all.

I note that the Bill seeks to examine the UK’s global carbon footprint, such as indirect UK emissions in our supply chain which may affect developing countries. I am encouraged that the UK remains committed to environmentally sustainable development as set out in the Millennium Development Goals and the Sustainable Development Goals. In September 2019 the Prime Minister committed to doubling the UK’s International Climate Finance over the next five years which I hope will enable the UK to play an active part in protecting the environment and reversing biodiversity loss.

On conservation, the UK is on course to protect over half of our waters. We now have 357 Marine Protected Areas of different types and no activities deemed damaging to designated features will be allowed to take place in these areas.

On forming a citizens’ assembly, I do not believe that it would have advantages over conventional policy making in this context. Previous experiences in Canada, for instance, included citizens in the decision‑making process, but they failed to produce impactful or long-lasting results.

While I welcome the increased awareness and debate this Bill brings, I do not believe that it is required as work is already underway. Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.”

If you do want to reply to the conservative letter, here are some pointers to use in your email or letter. Hand written letters make more of an impact, it’s always best to put this in your own words:

  • I welcome the UK’s previous pioneering action on climate issues and these must not stop with this Conservative Government. Leading up to COP 26, I believe that we need to continue to be world leaders, showing the action necessary to keep global warming below the critical 1.5C set in the Paris Agreement. This is not a target we can afford to miss. We won’t be able to reduce temperatures if they rise above this point, and it is therefore essential to treat this emergency with the seriousness it demands, as governments across the world have done with Covid-19.
  • The Government’s current 2050 net zero date gives us merely a ‘greater than 50%’ chance - if replicated across the world - of avoiding a global rise in temperature that UN scientists have warned us will lead to ‘catastrophic’ events, including crop failure, flooding and increased disease. A ‘greater than 50%’ is not good enough, and it scares me. We can, and must, do better to reduce emissions now.
  • As future emissions reductions require action this year, and every year, the Committee on Climate Change has set targets to ensure the Government reaches its own target of 2050. Worryingly, the Government currently is not on track at all - far from it. In the Committee’s report of June, of the 21 key indicators to measure progress towards meeting UK carbon budgets and the 2050 target, only 4 were on track. And of the 31 milestones for actions recommended by the Committee last year in order to get to net zero by 2050, only 2 have been fully achieved, with partial progress made on 15. The other 14 have shown no progress. What steps is the Government taking to achieve these targets?
  • The ‘disruption and consensus undermining’ that you mention is exactly why citizens need to be involved in climate action: so that the general public understands the issues, the urgency, and the changes needed; and can play their role in how the UK adapts to change. Citizens' assemblies have been used across the world to address complex and socially divisive issues. Although the framing for Climate Assembly UK was incorrect, the results seem reasonable and demonstrate the ‘cross-community consensus’ you mentioned in your letter. I see this as a positive first step for the Citizens’ Assembly in the CEE Bill. What will happen to these recommendations?
  • The CEE Bill outlines what is needed to address the scale and urgency of the threat. Will you support the CEE Bill?

LABOUR MPs

This is the Labour set letter response

“Thank you for contacting me about the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill. I very much agree that we need urgent action on this issue.

The flash floods, deadly landslides, and wildfires we have seen over recent years make clear that climate breakdown is not a distant threat but something that is happening here and now. Yet while Parliament declared an environment and climate emergency in May last year, our Government is simply not responding as the situation requires.

The Government maintains that it intends to green the UK economy and that it is taking steps to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. But as the Committee on Climate Change’s most recent progress report makes clear, the gulf between the Government’s rhetoric on climate action and the reality is vast. Not only are Ministers set to miss the 2050 target that Parliament legislated for just over a year ago, they are not even on track to meet the less ambitious one that preceded it.

Confronted by this unfolding emergency, I am clear that 2050 is too late for the UK to end its contribution to climate breakdown and runaway global heating. According to the UN, we have less than ten years left to avoid the worst impacts of catastrophic climate change. Our Government must act with far greater urgency and ambition. I am determined that the UK must show global leadership on this issue, and that starts with ambitious action at home. I believe we should aim to achieve the substantial majority of our emissions reductions by 2030 and that we need to do so through a world-leading Green New Deal.

As such, I support many of the aims set out in the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill which, as you may know, is a Presentation Bill (one that does not involve a debate or a vote in parliament, but is a way of drawing attention to an issue that requires a change in the law). I can assure you that I will also be supporting the Opposition’s own parliamentary agenda on the climate emergency, which will be developed in consultation with stakeholders including, the climate movement, trade unions, businesses, and communities across the country, and which will include many of the principles laid out in this Bill.

More immediately, my focus is on ensuring that the Government seizes the once-in-a-generation opportunity presented by the need to rebuild in the aftermath of the pandemic to rapidly decarbonise our economy through a green recovery. Seizing that opportunity, as other advanced economies are doing, requires more than rhetoric from Ministers, it requires a plan. We need that plan now so that we can invest in the green industries of the future, put people back to work in good, green jobs across the country, and support workers and communities as we make the transition to a low-carbon and socially-just economy. With a plan like that, we can raise our domestic climate ambition with a significantly enhanced 2030 emissions reduction target and demonstrate real leadership as the host of the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow next year.

I can assure you that I will continue to push for the above, and more widely for bold action to tackle the climate and ecological emergency at every opportunity.”

If you do want to reply, here are some pointers to use in your email or letter. Hand written letters make more of an impact, it’s always best to put this in your own words:

  • Thank them for all of the work they are doing in holding the Government to account on the climate and ecological emergency. Leading up to COP 26, I believe that we need to be world leaders, showing the action necessary to keep global warming below the critical 1.5C set in the Paris Agreement. This is not a target we can afford to miss. We won’t be able to reduce temperatures if they rise above this point, and it is therefore essential to treat this emergency with the seriousness it demands, as governments across the world have done with Covid-19.
  • Let them know that, as a constituent, you are supporting the campaign for the CEE Bill. A presentation bill is an important first step for a campaign to gather support. In fact, the Climate Change Act 2008 started life as a presentation bill!
  • We need as many MPs as possible to state their support for the Alliance’s Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill. This will put pressure on the Government and will help the campaign move forward.
  • Will you lend a hand by stating your support for the CEE Bill?