Wiltshire CCL member Jane Renwick recently realised that a hallowed broadcasting institution which likes to think it is ‘cutting edge’ could do with shaking up when it comes to the most important issue of our time!

But I know that CF&D makes sense and it frustrates me that so few people are talking about making it happen. 

” …..My grasp of CF&D is pretty akin to my knowledge of plumbing: I have a gist of an idea of the general principles (and the disasters that can occur if it’s not done properly) but not a lot of confidence when it comes to discussing anything beyond the tap that I’m turning or the chain that I’m flushing. Similarly, my knowledge of the workings of government and politics is weak, as is my understanding of economics, power production and the science of climate change. I do know a lot….. but nothing very relevant to this important issue it seems. 

Our Parish Magazine carried an article by Rev Michael McHugh quoting James F Byrnes: “Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will.” What an inspiring and liberating thought! So now, instead of thinking that I don’t know enough to join the debate I will think ‘I wonder what would happen if I sent a letter to Woman’s Hour’ or the Women’s Institute or another letter to my MP. What’s to lose? Surely the more people talking about it, the better.

Dear Woman’s Hour

Thank you for your recent item about women who are choosing not to have children because of fears about climate change – which illustrates just how much women are worrying about this. It is a HUGE issue for women and families. As a mother I am terrified. Sadly, I think women are struggling to visualise a positive route to addressing climate change that protects their family. 

I would really like to hear Woman’s Hour address climate change, in a positive way, that presents politically effective family friendly strategies that women can campaign for, to make a real difference (in addition to recycling our clothes, reducing waste, eating less meat etc etc……) 

For example – ‘Carbon Fee and Dividend’ is an approach that has been recognised by the Government as an effective method of carbon pricing that ‘has merits’ and is being considered as a way forward (The Times, 9 July 2021).

The principles are simple:

  • Carbon fuels are still being used because they are relatively cheap.
  • If the Government introduced an incrementally rising charge on carbon fuels, industry would be motivated to explore other options quickly.
  • Money raised would be returned to every citizen (adult and child) which offsets rising household fuel bills and benefits those who live a less carbon hungry lifestyle. 
  • This is a fair, effective and free policy which supports families and those most vulnerable in the community.
  • 27 Nobel prize winning economists support CF&D   https://www.econstatement.org , as well as many prominent women in the UK e.g. the successful children’s author illustrator Mini Grey and another successful children’s author Judy Hindley who speaks very articulately on the subject.

Talking about us all ‘doing our bit’ just isn’t working and women need to feel empowered to push for a change at a much higher level that supports families as well as industry through the tough choices and changes ahead. 

Please would you consider raising this as a topic on Woman’s Hour – firstly by going on record in declaring a climate emergency and then by raising awareness of strategies such as Carbon Fee and Dividend as a way forward that puts families and the most vulnerable into the solution.

Yours faithfully

Jane Renwick

p.s. A much better explanation than mine can be found at http://citizensclimatelobby.uk/