An open letter to the new prime minister on climate crisis
Dear Mr Johnson,
Belated congratulations on being elected as the new Prime Minister with a decisive majority in the House of Commons.
I know there are many challenges in your in-tray such as Brexit, the NHS, crime and many more. But I am writing to encourage you also to give top priority to climate change and the environment.
You promised in your victory speech on the Friday after the vote that you would “make this country the cleanest, greenest on earth.”
The last Government, of which you were a member, made a legally binding pledge to reach “net zero” emissions by 2050.
However, the former Conservative environment secretary, Lord Deben, also known as John Gummer, wrote to remind you that “UK efforts to address the climate crisis have so far fallen short.”
Already Britain is off track to meet its targets for the next decade so early decisions are needed.
Lord Deben warned you: “Your government’s actions in the coming year will define the UK response to the climate crisis. As host of next year’s UN climate summit in Glasgow in November, the steps we take in the next 12 months will also have a lasting global impact. “
The peer added: “You have the opportunity to lead a better international effort. But first we must get our own house in order.”
I believe the recent UN meeting in Madrid was a damp squib and a missed opportunity to make real progress on tackling climate change.
I was hoping for key decisions to be made and new targets to be agreed by the more than 190 nations represented at the fortnight of talks, but few governments came up with any new targets. They all seemed to be deferred until next year, which was very disappointing.
All that seemed to be achieved was a formal recognition of the need to bridge the gap between the greenhouse gas targets set in Paris in 2015 to hold global heating to no more than 2C above pre-industrial levels, regarded by experts as the outer limit of safety, and the deeper cuts scientists say are needed now.
But the big problem of how to deal with the problem of carbon emissions was put off for a year until the Glasgow summit.
Current targets would put the world on track for an increase of 3 degrees centigrade in the earth’s temperature which scientists say would ravage coastal cities and destroy huge swatches of agriculture across the globe, including the UK.
My customers, supporters and householders can all take small steps to help reduce our carbon footprint. But we need world leaders to set an example by taking bigger steps.
The situation is critical and that is why I am writing to you today on behalf of the people of Britain.
Next week, if I may, I would like to propose to you moves that your Government could take now to help stop the earth heating up so rapidly.
Owner of Green energy company Noreus Ltd,
0845 474 6641,
University of Keele Science Innovation Park,
Staffordshire, ST5 5AA.