Call for UK climate action in 2018
This year, we're calling on the UK government to take a golden opportunity – to lead by example in order to boost global efforts to tackle climate change. By showing it can cut carbon emissions fast, it could a play leading role in protecting people and planet from climate chaos. Yet, to do this, the government must commit to real action now.
In December, governments are gathering in Poland for a new round of negotiations to cut global emissions. In March this year, the UK government pledged to enshrine a 'net-zero' emissions target in national law. This could radically reduce our national climate impact, and lead other countries to do the same.
But when it comes to leadership, actions speak louder than words. Despite the promising pledges, the government's independent climate advisers say the UK is behind on meeting current emissions targets, let alone more ambitious ones.
We're calling on the government to commit to 'net-zero' emissions by 2050. But to achieve this, it must commit to bold policy and green investment across our economy. As a start, we are calling on the government to commit to the following:
- Buildings: reinstate a zero carbon standard for new homes, and extend it to all buildings by 2020.
- Transport: speed up the phase-out of petrol and diesel cars and vans by bringing forward the deadline to do this from 2040 to 2030.
- Power: ensure the cheapest low carbon power sources - onshore wind and solar – are supported by appropriate subsidies and planning rules so they can help cut carbon fast.
- Land: Set a target in the new Agriculture Bill to secure net zero emissions from agriculture by 2050 at the latest, with interim targets and milestones.
We're also calling on the government to urgently make clear how the UK will maintain and improve its climate policies outside of the European Union.
Take action – contact your MP
It's essential that MPs are aware of the opportunity that the UK has to tackle climate change, and the urgent need for UK domestic action.
Please meet with or write to your representative to explain these concerns, and ask them to call on the government to commit to policy and investments that will be needed to cut make deep and rapid cuts to our carbon emissions. You could ask them to support the policy demands outlined above.
When you get an answer, please email it to Chris Walker at email@example.com.
Alternatively, post a copy straight to Friends House - we're at 173 Euston Road, London NW1 2BJ. This really helps our campaigning work.
If you'd like to know more about the changes we are calling for, or for support with engaging with your MP, please contact Chris Walker at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 020 7663 1047.
Read the Quakers in Britain letter to Claire Perry, Minister for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy calling for the stronger government policies needed to reduce the impacts of climate change.
Unsure of the policy detail? Check out these resources:
- Read our short guide to demanding the necessary changes
- Get detail on the issues: read our in-depth analysis
- Read the Quakers in Britain letter to Claire Perry, Minister for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy calling for the stronger government policies needed to reduce the impacts of climate change.
Confront fossil fuel power
We need to confront the powers that actively work against climate justice, namely the fossil fuel industry and economic systems reliant on fossil fuels, which put economic competitiveness ahead of ecological health.
Quakers in Britain call for a ban on fracking and other forms of new and intensive fossil fuel extraction. The industry could seriously undermine the UK's ability to cut greenhouse gases and could harm local communities and ecosystems. Yet with backing from the UK government and investors, fracking companies are set to make vast profits from extracting oil and gas in the UK. Find out how you can take action on fracking.
Divest from fossil fuels
The fossil fuel industry needs many things to be able to extract fossil fuels and produce energy. Crucially it relies on money. Much of our money is bound up in continued fossil fuel extraction – via institutional investments, British government subsidies, or even our own pension funds.
We have a lot of power to change this. Publicly moving money away from fossil fuels helps to reduce fossil fuel companies' social licence to operate by demonstrating our refusal to be complicit.
Does your local or area meeting still invest in fossil fuels? What about the other institutions you may be part of, like your university or local council? Find out more about how to divest from fossil fuels.
Build the alternative
Many Quakers are engaged in exploring what an economy based on Quaker testimonies (and not dependent on fossil fuels) would look like, including how our economy could operate in balance with a healthy living planet. Find out more about our work on the new economy.