The Met Office has confirmed that the temperatures of last year’s summer, if we keep to a predicted medium emission scenario (Met office modelling that assumes carbon emissions peak around 2045 and then fall) will be considered cool by 2060 and average by 2021, and Antonio Guterres warned later today that “the era of global boiling has arrived”.

On the Today programme this morning Lord Deben argued that apart from emissions reductions in electricity generation progress has been painfully slow with a 1% fall in emissions, which needs to quadruple to meet the government’s 2030 net zero targets. Deben stated that he was relieved that the Government isn’t budging on the 2030 ICE vehicle sales deadline for selling ICE but that the debate since the by-election has been damaging (and the government is easing a deadline on installing gas boilers for landlords and is considering easing the requirements on landlords to reach C energy efficiency ratings on property to let by 2028).

The Government, he argued, needs to do far more to make the economic case for reaching net zero and to make the process fair, (which the ULEZ scheme which got government funding for scrappage in some areas but not in London and the SE blatantly was not), putting the economic argument for the benefits of decarbonisation at the heart of the argument or it will continue to be threatened by the next headwind. 

This week CCL members have been encouraged to write to their MPs while responses to the by-election and the weather remain in the news. Carbon Brief today points out that the Met Office report is not being ignored in the most skeptical serious papers!

If you have not already done so please do consider taking up the pen (metaphorically) to write to your MP to remind them that the climate crisis is here now and most people of all political hues want action and want it to be fair. According to the DESNZ Public Attitudes Tracker: Net Zero and Climate Change Spring 2023, UK, the majority of people (82%) said they were at least fairly concerned about climate change, unchanged since Summer 2022 (83%) and slightly lower than the highest levels reported in Autumn and Winter 2021 (85%).

There is advice on letter writing here and you can find contact details etc at TheyWorkForYou. Please bcc to [email protected]

Ed Atkinson has written a draft letter template, (see below) which you can adapt, do add some personal details if it is the first time, I pointed out how my kid’s school sports days and proms were either blighted by extreme rainfall or heat even back in the mid 2000s! Appreciation for something your MP has achieved is also good, CCL and CCI supports the principle of collaboration rather than confrontation. 

The lesson from the recent Uxbridge by-election is surely not that we should reign back from green policies, polling suggests that the wider electorate will not support that. Rather, it is that we should be careful when green policies directly impact on household finances. A Climate Income actually does the exact reverse: it is a policy that will directly place funds into citizens’ bank accounts. This enables a robust policy for driving carbon from the economy, and so meet our net zero targets, to be a vote winner in the next election for a wide range of the electorate.

You may also want to mention The Times endorsement of carbon taxation, (CCL news item, not paywall article), especially if you think your MP is likely to be a Times reader! The Times does not specifically mention CI but it is arguing for the tax to be hypothecated and to subsidise renewable energy. As Ed Conway points out in today’s Times, we need more carrot and less stick!

For further background please see this recent blog.

Let’s remind our politicians that there is not only no justification for dropping commitments to net zero while Rhodes burns and people die, but also no need!