The Climate and Ecology Bill recently had a very exciting week! On Thursday 14 July, Zero Hour campaigners met outside the UK Parliament—with youth activists from across Britain—as they handed in a letter to Peers. Their urgent letter called for all Members of the House of Lords to help progress the Climate and Ecology Bill in this 2022-23 session.

Their message is clear—they want a liveable future. And the CE Bill is the best chance of securing one. The youth representatives include the co-director of UK Youth for Nature, the president of the Oxford Climate Society, the co-founder of the UK Youth Climate Coalition and the founder of clean air group, Choked Up.

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“If we fail to limit global warming to 1.5°C, floods and fires will get more frequent and more fierce, crops will be more likely to fail, and sea levels will rise driving mass migration as millions are forced from their homes. Above 1.5°C, we risk reaching climatic tipping points, meaning we could lose control of our climate for good.”

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The next day—on Friday 15 July—the Climate and Ecology Bill had its second reading in the House of Lords, where there was an hour long debate on the Bill.

(Lib Dem) Lord Redesdale presented the Bill and highlighted its “growing importance” considering record-breaking heat projections across the UK. Importantly, he stressed the toll that such temperatures would take on public services, including the NHS.

The CE Bill, Lord Redesdale argued, “is not a radical piece of legislation—it's something that we really need.”

Baroness Blake responded on behalf of the Labour Party. She stated that the UK was "failed by the UK Government" and implied its silence on net zero was deafening. After thanking Zero Hour campaigners, the Shadow BEIS Spokesperson made a powerful case for the UK to get back on track with not only halting, but also reversing biodiversity loss, across the UK nations.

Excitingly, the CE Bill also gained a new supporter from the Conservative Party—Baroness Hooper—and other powerful debate contributions were made by (Lib Dems) Lord Oates and Lord Teverson, (Green peer) Baroness Bennett and (Crossbench peer) Baroness Boycott. 

You can read all speeches from the CE Bill's second reading debate, here.

The Bill will now progress to its Lords committee stage, likely be in late October 2022. Until then, Zero Hour will continue to encourage and grow support for the CE Bill across all parties—and across both Houses of Parliament.