On 9 November 2022, Derek Thomas MP led a debate in Westminster Hall debate to raise awareness of Zero Hour’s Nature & Climate Declaration, the UK-wide campaign aiming to promote all-party action towards the climate and nature crisis.
On 9 November 2022, Derek Thomas MP led a debate in Westminster Hall to raise awareness of Zero Hour’s Nature & Climate Declaration—a UK-wide declaration aiming to promote all-party action towards the climate and nature crisis.
The Declaration recognises the ongoing efforts of the UK Government to address climate change and biodiversity loss—and urges Ministers to deal with critical environmental risks to our heritage, communities and future prosperity.
With nearly 2,000 signatures from politicians across all parties, the Nature & Climate Declaration calls on to the UK Government to:
- Fulfil our fair share of emissions reductions to ensure that the average global temperature increase will not exceed 1.5˚C
- Halt and, crucially, have reversed biodiversity decline by 2030, and
- Deliver a more ambitious and integrated environmental protection and decarbonisation plan.
During the debate—attended by MPs from the Conservative, Labour, SNP and Lib Dem benches—Derek called on the Minister, Trudy Harrison MP, to take action on the nature and climate crisis, asserting that “we are the caretakers and guardians of the planet we are so fortunate to live on”.
Derek specifically highlighted key issues within the climate movement regarding communications with the public. He identified intangible and abstract terminology—such as “net zero by 2050”—which can often alienate people from focussing on climate solutions.
Whilst recognising the steps of the Government to begin to deliver on its environmental protection and decarbonisation promises, Derek emphasised that the Government has failed to communicate these measures to the public in comprehensible, accessible ways; including “the positive benefits of”:
- Improving our homes—and the creation of skills to do that work
- Skills in nature friendly farming and clean energy
- Farming as an important source for food production and a way of enhancing nature and capturing carbon, and
- Secure and affordable renewable energy, using natural resources such as underground heat, the sun, the wind and tide-generated energy.
Derek’s overall message was that action in support of the Nature & Climate Declaration should not be about restrictions, hardship, scarcity or deprivation. Instead, it should be about creating new opportunities, learning new skills, and amplifying the public benefits that come with positive environmental change.
From geothermal energy projects in Cornwall, to farming with nature in West Cornish farms, Derek highlighted how the Nature & Climate Declaration can not only be a pathway for reducing emissions, protecting diversity, and planning for a climate just future; but can also be used as an opportunity to better communicate with the public about the Government’s steps towards climate and nature solutions.