The climate crisis 'is a bit like parking fines'
Dorothea Hackman, chair, Camden Civic Society
- Credit: Dorothea Hackman
What do we want the outcome of the G7 meeting to be?
Seven of the richest nations plus a couple more are meeting in Cornwall June 10 - 13 as a prelude to the COP26 meeting in Glasgow in the autumn.
Above all we need these influential rich nations to take urgent action on the climate crisis.
Despite warnings and the undertakings at the Paris agreement two years ago, little has been done so far to reduce our carbon emissions, and we are hurtling towards an average 3 degree rise in temperature by 2030 instead of limiting it to 1.5 degrees.
It is a bit like parking fines, it doesn’t go away if we ignore it, it just gets a whole lot worse.
It will mean that a third of the world population, mostly in Africa and the Indian subcontinent, will have no water to drink, or to grow food. Also that the extremes of flooding and fires will grow worse as temperatures increase and sea levels rise from melting glaciers.
You have heard all this, and quite possibly have made individual efforts to reduce your personal carbon footprint - less flying, plastic and meat, more cycling and recycling.
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However, we can’t push this onto individuals, nor people in the global south, nor future generations.
Three immediate moratoria from our government, and local government can help:
- Stop fossil fuel industries from exploring and starting new mining (Thankyou President Biden) and invest in clean energy. Divest pension funds from fossil fuels.
- Stop manufacturing plastic - we can’t even recycle what we have already made and it is filling our oceans and killing other species. Burning it is making emissions even worse as well as polluting the air we breathe. Stop building incinerators and plan to decommission existing ones - the UK has overcapacity already.
- Stop cutting down trees and destroying our green places. Stop the massive infrastructure projects that are harming the environment, for example: High Speed 2, the Silvertown tunnel, the Edmonton incinerator, the A30 motorway.
- UK MPs must unify to support a Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill that can make all this action happen.
- We must focus on a just transition. We need people who can work in clean energy, recycling and for instance, retrofitting our homes with heat pumps. So we need a massive skills training programme immediately to prepare for the future.
- Local authorities need to plan now for the reduction of available drinking water.
- And the foodbanks need to focus on preparing to support the influx of refugees.