In preparation for the upcoming election, Ros Kent (on behalf of GreenTEA members) contacted all the prospective parliamentary candidates as follows:
In order to have some chance of keeping future climate change from moving into unknown and possibly catastrophic levels, climate scientists agree that the global temperature increase must be restricted to below 2˚C. Accordingly, at the Copenhagen Conference in 2009, 167 of the world’s governments, representing countries responsible for 87% of carbon emissions and including our own, subscribed to that figure.
To keep within that limit, it is calculated that the world can afford to pump only one trillion tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere. That is the total global carbon budget. It doesn’t matter exactly when this is done but the limit must not be exceeded. This in turn means leaving 80% of known fossil fuel reserves in the ground.
• Does your party accept the need to leave 80% of known fossil fuel reserves in the ground?
• Which of your party’s policies will ensure the rise in global temperatures is restricted to BELOW 2˚C and how will they achieve this level?
• What is your personal commitment to ensuring that these limits are adhered to?
We should like to make one further point. Global warming is a far greater emergency than the one faced by this country during the Second World War. Eighty years ago, party politics were forgotten and the U.K. organised around a national effort for survival. The global warming emergency requires a similar national effort from political parties working together. Whilst increasing numbers of individuals and communities across the U.K. are currently reducing their carbon emissions, political leadership and effective climate policies are at present almost completely lacking.
Will your party commit to working towards a cross-party agreement to pursue policies nationally and internationally to cap the exploitation of fossil fuels at 20% of known reserves, in order to ensure global warming is less than 2˚C?
We would be grateful for a reply before March 31st to share with our members, supporters and local residents.
We have received responses from the following (click on name to see reply):
- Duncan Enright: Labour Party
- Stuart McDonald: Green Party
- Andy Graham: Liberal Democrats
- David Cameron: Conservative