London, UK, 14th July 2022: Today, members of youth groups including—UK Youth Climate Coalition, UK Youth For Nature, Surfers Against Sewage and Fridays for Future—have signed an open letter to all Members of the House of Lords urging them to back the Climate and Ecology Bill ahead of its second reading debate tomorrow (15th July).

It comes as many young people say they feel ignored by those in power with regard to the climate crisis, with two-thirds saying their governments have failed them when it comes to climate change and the breakdown of nature. 

Niharika Manu, Youth Lead for Zero Hour said: “Why are our politicians surprised that young people have lost trust in them to tackle the climate crisis when so many literally don’t want to know? Less than 70 turned up for this week's emergency briefing from Sir Patrick Vallance — the government’s own scientific advisor. That’s not climate leadership. We’re asking MPs and Peers to show leadership and urgently restore our trust by backing the Climate & Ecology Bill.”

Niharika Manu, Youth Lead for Zero Hour

 

The open letter hand-in coincides with a Commons debate held by MPs today on COP15, the UN biodiversity summit, and the role the UK will play in helping to restore nature and biodiversity at home and abroad. Although the Government claims to be a leader in combating climate change and nature loss, there are concerning gaps in UK legislation to tackle the climate and ecology crisis, with no joined-up strategy, and action way off track from ambition.

The Climate and Ecology Bill, first introduced to Parliament in 2020 and now backed by 121 MPs and 33 Peers from all major parties, aims to address the full extent of the climate and nature crisis in line with the most up-to-date science.

 

Why do young people support this Bill?

The Bill is the only proposed legislation before the UK Parliament that ensures a comprehensive approach to the joint climate and nature emergency. The Bill will help to align the UK’s carbon budget with a global effort to stay under 1.5°C, as well as put forward ambitious plans to actively restore biodiversity, connecting the Government’s response to the closely linked climate and nature crises. Finally, it will also bring in major public engagement to ensure a fair transition and help to support young people’s futures.

The open letter was signed by representatives from the UK’s major environmental youth movements, including: 

Rosie Crowther

Associate Director

A Focus on Nature

Rhiane Fatinikun

CEO & Founder

Black Girls Hike UK CIC

Mahnoor Kamran

Mentor

Bright Green Future

Nyeleti Brauer-Maxaeia

Co-Founder

Choked Up

Dominique Palmer

Youth Climate Justice Activist, Writer, Model

Climate Live

Oscar Mitcham

Founder Climate Soup

Climate Soup

Connie Muir

Founder & Director

Croydon Community Energy

Clover Hogan

Executive Director

Force Of Nature

Iris Zhan

Co-Founder, Campaign Coordinator

Fridays for Future Digital

Stephanie Lynch

Youth Participation Officer

Groundwork Youth

Wagde Al-Qadasi

Youth Ambassador in Yemen

International Youth Council

Anusha Roy

Student member

London Schools Eco Network

Mia Clement

President

Oxford Climate Society

Taras Bains

Projects Officer

Oxford Uni. Nature Conservation Society

Nell Miles

Coordinator

Pledge For Our Future

Mehajabeen Farid

Co-Chair, Climate & Health National Working Group

Students for Global Health

Elouise Mayall

Community Working Group

UK Youth Climate Coalition

Talia Goldman

Co-Director

UK Youth For Nature

Elijah Mckenzie-Jackson

Youth Advisor

Surfers Against Sewage

Billy Knowels

Programme Director

Youth Environment Service

Natasha Barnes 

Environmental Activist

United Nations Association Climate & Oceans

 

Talia Goldman, Co-Director of UK Youth For Nature, explains "The UK Government is just one example of a country that has made bold nature and climate pledges but is consistently missing its targets and failing to address critical climate and nature issues. Nature is critical to climate change adaptation and mitigation. But with our country's rivers awash with chemicals, wildlife disappearing at a relentless pace, and the Government wavering on key reforms like introducing a nature friendly farming sector, banning peat compost, and stopping destructive fishing in UK marine parks, the Government's 'ambition' means nothing. We're asking all members of the House of Lords to face up to the threat of climate change and nature loss. We can't turn this around without bold new legislation. That's why we need Peers and MPs to back the Climate & Ecology Bill."

 

Lord Resedale, sponsor of the Climate & Ecology Bill, and Lib Dem peer said: "Tackling climate change and biodiversity loss is high on the agenda for people across the UK nations, but it's as if some politicians have forgotten that in Westminster. The UK led the world into COP26, but all that talk—and all those COP pledges—need to be translated in domestic law. The Climate & Ecology Bill is the only draft legislation that can both tackle the UK's full emissions footprint, whilst also reversing the damage to nature. If a new Prime Minister wants to lead on environment, they should start with the Climate & Ecology Bill—it's ready to go. Scientists, campaigners and constituents have done their bit. Now, we need to see all-party, political support for action on the climate - nature crisis.

The Bill was introduced in the House of Lords by Lord Resesdale on 25th May and will have its second reading on 15 July.

-ENDS- 

 

NOTES TO EDITOR

 

  1. The Climate & Ecology Bill has the support of 121 MPs and 33 Peers.
  2. The full text of the Bill can be found here.
  3. It was previously promoted as the Climate & Ecological Emergency (CEE) Bill.
  4. Zero Hour are the cross-party campaign group behind the Bill, built from a coalition of allied businesses, campaigners and organisations.
  5. The open-letter from youth groups to all peers can be found here, including all signatories
  6. COP15 backbench businesses debate will take place in the House of Commons on 14 July.
  7. Zero Hour is also working with 180+ scientists to help demand a nature-positive goal at COP15

CONTACT: Casper Horton | [email protected] | Twitter: @ceebill_now | zerohour.uk

 

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