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Cross-party support for Climate Emergency Bill tabled at Westminster

Updated: Sep 10, 2020

A bill was tabled in the House of Commons on September 2nd by a cross-party group of MPs which aims to “strengthen the Climate Change Act and ensure that Britain has a comprehensive strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions”. The Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill (CEE Bill) was introduced by Green Party MP Caroline Lucas with the backing of 11 other MPs.

The MPs backing the bill are:

Alan Brown, Tommy Sheppard (Scottish National Party)

Stephen Farry (Northern Ireland Alliance)

Claire Hanna (SDLP)

Wera Hobhouse (Liberal Democrats)

Ben Lake, Liz Saville Roberts (Plaid Cymru)

Caroline Lucas (Green Party)

Clive Lewis, Zarah Sultana, Nadia Whittome, Alex Sobel (Labour).

The bill was drafted by a group of scientists, academics, lawyers and environmentalists with three objectives:

  • UK to reduce its emissions drastically, take account of its entire carbon footprint and circumscribe reliance on speculative future carbon capture technologies.

  • UK to focus on restoring biodiversity and soils, mitigate the damage caused to nature by supply chains and account for the nation’s ecological footprint.

  • Create an emergency Citizens’ Assembly working with experts to empower MPs to make tough decisions based on the science.

Caroline Lucas said that the government needs to start “showing the climate leadership it boasts of” and to act on the recommendations of the Committee on Climate Change by updating and strengthening the 2008 Climate Change Act.

Amy McDonnell, co-founder of the CEE Bill Alliance, points out that “even acting upon those recommendations only accords a 50% chance of avoiding climate catastrophe”. The bill has received the backing of environmentalists and an enthusiastic endorsement from Extinction Rebellion.

Caroline Lucas also makes reference to the Covid-19 pandemic by pointing out how people have “come together and governments can – when they need to – do the impossible”. She calls on the government to show the world at the UN climate conference next year that it is willing to deliver a serious plan to tackle the climate emergency.

In August, a group of moderate Conservative MPs called on the government to support the green economy in the post-Covid recovery. That plea came in a report which also referred to the necessity of complying with targets set by the Committee on Climate Change.


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