Hundreds of NGOs and unions call on Liz Truss to put nature, climate and energy ‘top of the agenda’

More than 100 representatives from civil society, from NGOs to union and faith leaders have signed a letter sent to Liz Truss, calling on the new Prime Minister to exercise her duty to secure a greener, fairer future for the UK by championing clean energy and responding to the ecological crisis.

Hundreds of NGOs and unions call on Liz Truss to put nature, climate and energy ‘top of the agenda’

The groups are calling for immediate action on the energy crisis

As Liz Truss and her new Cabinet of ministers settle into their first full days in steering the country out of a cost-of-living crisis, more than 100 representatives across the private and public sectors have called on the Government to create a “secure, fair and green future for the UK”.

This, signatories to the letter state, can be achieved by ramping up immediate support to help people pay their energy bills, scale up investments into household energy efficiency and at least triple renewable energy capacity by 2030 and move away from gas dependence.

However, the letter also states that other areas of the climate crisis should not be ignored even as energy bills are tackled. The letter calls on Liz Truss to set out policies to help reverse the decline of wildlife and protect 30% of the land and sea for nature by 2030, increase support for farmers and coastal communities to respond to the climate crisis and help secure a new global biodiversity deal at COP15.

The letter was convened by the Climate Coalition and signatories include the National Trust, National Education Union, The Co-operative Group, RSPB, Wildlife and Countryside Link, Christian Aid, Soil Association and CAFOD.

“Our vision is for a country and a world where children walk to school breathing fresh air instead of dangerous fumes, and their parents think about the future with hope instead of fear,” the letter states. “We want brilliant engineers, builders, farmers and local people across the UK to be supported to roll out the solutions to make our homes warmer, our transport cleaner and cheaper, and to restore our natural environment to once again be full of life. We want the UK to lead and invest in real climate action around the world. This vision is not the reality we are experiencing.”

“As our new Prime Minister, you have the opportunity – and duty – to create a secure, fair and green future for the United Kingdom and to ensure the UK plays its part on the world stage. This means ramping up immediate support for people struggling to pay their bills and rapidly investing to make our homes warmer.”

The letter builds on data commissioned by the Climate Coalition which revealed that only one-third of UK adults believe the new Primer Minister will be able to tackle the climate and nature crises. Additionally, almost 30% claim they would make changes in their daily habits to help address these wider issues.

Bronwen Smith-Thomas, Head of Campaigns and Politics at The Climate Coalition said: “The long list of organisations who’ve signed this letter should highlight the severity of the situation for the new Prime Minister. This huge level of support from civil society for urgent action to tackle the climate and cost-of-living crises cannot be ignored.

“This summer alone we’ve seen droughts, heatwaves and fires here in the UK, alongside extreme heat around the world and the devastating floods in Pakistan which have left a third of the country underwater. The UK public is witnessing these tragedies and feeling the effects of the climate crisis first hand, seeing it affect their homes, jobs and health – and they know things will only get worse for the next generation. They’re looking to the new Prime Minister to step up to the challenge to fix this.”

The letter comes just hours after the Climate Change Committee (CCC) and the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) wrote to the Prime Minister calling for new policy interventions that promote renewable energy, building efficiency upgrades and low-carbon heat in a bid to respond to the energy cost crisis.

With reports suggesting that Truss’ energy plan could arrive this week, the CCC and NIC sent the joint letter to the Prime Minister, setting out key recommendations that they believe can improve energy access and efficiency and lower costs.

The letter states that the UK “cannot address this crisis solely by increasing its production of natural gas”, claiming that existing reserves are “too small to impact meaningfully the prices faced by UK consumers”. Instead, the CCC and NIC recommend that Truss’ energy plan introduced credible policies to improve building energy efficiency and work on market-based mechanisms for low-carbon heat.

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