Climate Change – what can we do?

The latest IPCC report on the climate is very chilling. We need to move very fast if we are to avoid the worst climate outcomes. They are suggesting we have only 12 years.

So we urgently need to tell politicians that they need to be doing more. Expanding Heathrow, HS2 and supporting fracking are just going in the wrong direction.

Locally, Portsmouth City Council has just unanimously passed a resolution saying we are in a climate emergency.

We need to get Havant to pass a similar resolution so please sign the petition on the Havant Friends of the Earth site if you are a resident of Havant Borough.

So it’s time for real action

  1. Get informed
  2. Tell key people – MPs, councillors, the press what you think should be done
  3. Join groups which are campaigning on climate – like FOE, Greenpeace, Extinction Rebellion
  4. Join in the student protests
  5. Look at ways of changing your own lifestyle to cut down on greenhouse gases

Sign some petitions

There are great ideas in these publications.

A new report is stressing the importance of working with nature.  

George Monbiot has written on this too and they have launched a new website Natural Climate Solutions. We need to cut carbon too of course.

The US Green New Deal is getting a lot of attention but the UK had its own Green New Deal in 2008. You can read the ideas here

And here’s an article about it from Caroline Lucas MP Green Party

It’s needs a re-think of course but the new economics foundation (nef) is addressing that here. Rebooting the Green New Deal

The Centre for Alternative Technology has lots of ideas for achieving a Zero Carbon Britain

Friends of the Earth have a whole set of proposals to get to Zero carbon

The Campaign against Climate Change has ideas for a Million Climate Jobs

If you want to read more there are lots of good articles on the Guardian website.

For instance two articles on climate assemblies and whether councils can deliver a Zero Carbon future

Portsmouth is planning to set up a Climate Change Board, following its declaration of a climate emergency.

Stroud’s climate policy sounds like a really good model

And so does Bristol’s

Britain did take a lead in climate action with the Climate Act 2015 which commits the UK government by law to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% of 1990 levels by 2050.

But how well are we doing?

The Committee on Climate Change was set up to provide independent advice to government on building a low-carbon economy and preparing for climate change.

Its 2018 report showed that

Overall, UK emissions are down 43% compared to the 1990 baseline while the economy has grown significantly over the same period. However most of this is down to excellent progress in reducing emissions from electricity generation, while reductions in other sectors have stalled.

The first carbon budget (2008-12) has been met and the UK is currently on track to outperform the second (2013-17) and third (2018-22) carbon budgets, but is not on track to meet the fourth, which covers the period 2023-27.

Meeting future carbon budgets and the UK’s 2050 target to reduce emissions by at least 80% of 1990 levels will require reducing domestic emissions by at least 3% per year. This will require existing progress to be supplemented by more challenging measures.

The committee’s four key messages to Government:

  1. Support the simple, low-cost options
  2. Commit to effective regulation and strict enforcement
  3. End the chopping and changing of policy
  4. Act now to keep long-term options open