Humans have already caused irreversible climate change, the impacts of which are being felt in the UK, and around the world. The global temperature has already increased by 1.2°C above pre-industrial levels and—alongside this—the natural world has reached crisis point, with 28% of plants and animals threatened with extinction. In fact, the UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world as more than one in seven of our plants and animals face extinction, and more than 40% are in decline.
Climate change remains a major concern for voters with 66% of people (according to YouGov) expressing they are ‘worried about climate change and its effects’. Alongside this, the popularity of Sir David Attenborough’s Save Our Wild Isles initiative demonstrates public concern that UK wildlife is being destroyed at terrifying speed.
Climate and Ecology Bill
The Climate and Ecology Bill, a private member’s bill currently before the House of Commons, seeks to address the challenges that this situation poses by creating a whole-of-government approach to deliver a net zero and nature positive future.
Based on the latest science, the Bill aims to align current UK environmental policy with the need to halt and reverse nature loss by 2030, which was a goal agreed to at COP15, via the Kunming-Montreal Framework (22 December 2022); and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with a fair share of the remaining global carbon budget to give the strongest chance of limiting global heating to 1.5C, which was the goal agreed to at COP21, via the Paris Agreement (12 December 2015).
By bridging the gap between the UK Government’s current delivery, and what has been agreed at international levels, Britain has a chance to be a world leader on the environment; seizing the opportunities of the clean energy transition, including green jobs and reduced energy bills; and boosting the UK’s food and energy security.
Trafford Council notes that:
The Climate and Ecology Bill, which has been introduced in the UK Parliament on four occasions since 2020, including most recently in the House of Commons 10 May 2023. The Bill is backed by 168 cross-party MPs and Peers and 237 local authorities, alongside the support of eminent scientists, such as Sir David King; environmental non-governmental organizations, such as The Wildlife Trusts and CPRE; businesses, such as The Co-operative Bank; and 30,000 members of the public.
The Bill would require the UK Government to develop and deliver a new environmental strategy, which would include:
1. Delivering a joined-up environmental plan, as the crises in climate and nature are deeply intertwined, requiring a plan that considers both together;
2. Reducing emissions in line with 1.5°C, ensure emissions are reduced rapidly, for the best chance of limiting warming to 1.5°C;
3. Not only halting, but also reversing the decline in nature, setting nature measurably on the path to recovery by 2030;
4. Taking responsibility for our overseas footprint, both emissions and ecological;
5. Prioritising nature in decision-making, and ending fossil fuel production and imports as rapidly as possible;
6. Ensuring that no-one is left behind, by providing for retraining for people currently working in fossil fuel industries; and
7. Giving people a say in finding a fair way forward through an independent and temporary Climate and Nature Assembly, representative of the UK population, an essential tool for bringing public opinion along with the unprecedented pace of change required.
Trafford Council therefore resolves to:
1. Support the Climate and Ecology Bill;
2. Inform local residents, and local press/media of this decision;
3. Write to Trafford’s MPs, Andrew Western, Sir Graham Brady and Mike Kane, to inform them that this motion has been passed, urging them to sign up to support the Climate and Ecology Bill, or thanking them for already doing so;
4. Write to Zero Hour, the organisers of the cross-party campaign for the Climate and Ecology Bill, expressing its support (email@example.com).
RESOLVED: That consideration of this Motion be deferred to the next meeting.