Why do we need the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill? 

More floods, droughts, heatwaves… The world around us is changing. And it’s going to get worse. But if we act now, we can turn this crisis around and build a stronger, better society. The Climate and Ecological Emergency (CEE) Bill makes that possible. It’s a plan for a new law that has been presented to the UK Parliament.

Reducing emissions. The CEE Bill makes sure the UK does its bit to keep global heating down to 1.5°C, which gives us a chance to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. This means cutting down greenhouse gas emissions really fast. 

Protecting the natural world. The Bill conserves and restores wildlife and the places we love. Doing this also removes some of the carbon dioxide we’ve put into the atmosphere – because woodlands, healthy soils and plant life all absorb carbon. It’s a win-win. 

Joining up our approach. The Bill recognises the connections between the climate and nature crises. Other new UK legislation deals with them separately and does not provide the overarching framework we need for the scale of action required. 

Taking responsibility. The Bill makes sure we don’t push our responsibilities for climate and nature onto other countries. From our food to our phones, many of the emissions we cause are produced in other countries – and we don’t currently account for them in our laws. The same applies to the impact we have on the natural world in getting those products to the UK.

Building consensus. Weaning ourselves off fossil fuels means big changes. So it’s important that everyone is on board with them. That’s why the Bill also calls for a climate assembly to help Government and Parliament develop an emergency strategy on the way forward. 

Who is calling for the CEE Bill? 

The Bill was introduced as a Private Member’s Bill in Parliament by Caroline Lucas in September 2020. So far it has been backed by over 100 MPs from eight different political parties. It is supported by thousands of campaigners across the country, as well as a broad alliance of businesses and organisations including The Co-operative Bank, Greenpeace and Oxfam. The CEE Bill is also backed by leading academics and scientists such as Kate Raworth and Prof. Joanna Haigh. With the parliamentary session coming to an end on 29 April 2021, the first phase of the campaign has come to an end. A new parliamentary session started on 11 May 2021, and the Bill will be reintroduced at the earliest opportunity (from end of June 2021). See a full list of supporting organisations and MPs here

What is the campaign strategy? 

We are currently the only environmental campaign that is mobilising thousands of people and communities across the country to push for new legislation while also carrying out a campaign in Parliament. It’s an approach that has been used successfully by groups such as Power for People, as well as during the Big Ask campaign, which led to the Climate Change Act 2008. The campaign is coordinated by a central team, who connect up the work of grassroots activists, allied organisations and direct engagement with parliamentarians. 

A big opportunity for the UK 

2021 is a crucial year for the planet. In November, the UK is co-hosting the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (known as COP26). The conference has to be a success if we are to address the crisis. As co-host, the UK has a key role to play in getting all countries to commit to ambitious plans to reduce emissions. That means it has to lead by example. The CEE Bill is an opportunity for the UK Government to do just that because it breaks new ground in how countries address the emergency – it’s a blueprint that can be used around the world. 

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