MP letter

Scottish MP Stephen Gethins reply to CCLUKer Charlie Webb

Our campaign to galvanize Parliament in advance of the recent UN climate negotiations (COP 23) in Bonn – which has just ended – has resulted in a surge of action and some splendid results.

The numbers tell just a small part of the story. CCLUK members have been talking up our policy up and down the country, sharing it with friends and family, posting it (in many imaginative ways) on Facebook, generally spreading the word.

How many conversations did you find yourself taking part in? One volunteer signed up 21 letter-writers. Only seven of them actually produced the letters…But that was 21 conversations that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.  Experience has shown what a difference that can make. ( I’ve had people come back to me after a year to say, “Ah! Now I get it!”)

As for the numbers: together, we’ve had letters sent to Claire Perry, the Climate Minister, advocating Carbon Fee & Dividend – and asking the crucial questions about it – from thirty-eight different constituencies, from N.E. Fife to Brighton.

In some cases, more than one letter came from the same constituency; overall, our members probably generated over 60 letters.

One great result was the number of non-CCLUK members who asked to be on a regular list for letter-writing. This kind of support will be an added boost to any campaign we run, and in time many of these letter-writers will develop into full CCLUK members.

Another very significant result is renewed and cheering contact with other groups, from the impressive bunch of CCLUK members in Edinburgh to Wiltscan, Transcoco, and Transition Cambridge.

Star letters

You’ve shared many thoughtful letters, but perhaps the stars were the emails written by 19-year-old Charlie Webb (an I.B. student in St. Andrews, Scotland), and the wonderfully concise and punchy letter by Pat Lofts. You can see both at the bottom of this post, and the end of Charlie’s reply from Stephen Gethin in the top image.

To finish off – I have to tell you that Claire Perry (who is my MP) actually hailed me in our local Waitrose on Remembrance Sunday, and when I raised the question of our policy (well, it was irresistible), she said, “Oh – I’ve been getting a lot of letters about it!”


But meanwhile, we’ve had some brilliant news from CCL representatives at the COP who saw progress in all five areas prioritized for action – as you can see here:

From: Patricia Lofts
Sent: 08 October 2017 16:53
To: TOMLINSON, Justin <[email protected]>
Subject: In Post Brexit Britain – Have a Fresh Look at Carbon Fee and Dividend

A genuine way of helping everyone with their utility bills.
Genuine savings for frugal users of power that won’t cost us the planet.
An original policy which is not copying anything mainstream parties have ownership of.
Have a look at Carbon Fee and Dividend on Facebook.
It is gaining support from a lot of voters with green credentials.
Have a look at it. Make sense of us leaving EU.
Not my first choice as a remainer. But given where we are, Carbon Fee and Dividend is worth a fresh look.
Good chance to work to save the planet whilst helping frugal users manage utility costs.
Kind regards
Pat Lofts

From: Charlie Webb
Date: 27 September 2017 at 22:53
Subject: Climate Change
To: <[email protected]>

Dear Stephen Gethins

I would first like to offer my sincerest congratulations on your recent election.

My name is Charlie Webb and I am a 17-year-old IB diploma student at St. Leonards in St. Andrews. I am writing with particular urgency to ask you to convey to the new Climate Minister, Claire Perry, my concerns and requests about the climate crisis. I personally know Claire as she is the local MP for my hometown of Marlborough in Wiltshire.

As a student of the Environmental systems and societies IB course here at St. Leonards, I have been made aware of many difficult ecological challenges the world faces. Without the help of MP’s such as yourself, these challenges will not be faced up to. The most serious issue, in my opinion is our excessive use of fossil fuels. However, I recently saw on Sky News that there was a 17% increase in the use of low carbon sources and that average carbon dioxide emissions fell by more than half in the last four years. This is worthy progress, but we simply must be doing more.

Firstly, please congratulate Claire on her new role. I know she is concerned about climate change, and that she is acquainted with Climate Fee and Dividend – the policy that puts a steadily rising fee on fossil fuels, at source (coal pit, oil well, port of entry) and returns the proceeds to all citizens in equal measures.

Please urge her to promote this policy, as it is the quickest, most effective, fair and simple way to reduce emissions in line with the UK’s own targets based on the Climate Change Act.

It sends a clear market signal to industry, investors and consumers that the UK is committed to low carbon technologies and lifestyles, supporting and accelerating the adoption and further development of zero carbon products.

The experience of this policy in British Colombia confirms predictions that low-income households will actually receive more in the dividend than they pay in the higher prices for carbon-intensive goods. Moreover, it’s the most effective way to reduce air pollution, an increasingly costly problem in the UK.

Please ask the Minister, on my behalf, what it would take for her to be able to introduce this policy as a bill in Parliament – and what can be done by us citizens to support this. Please forward to me her reply.


Charlie Webb