MPs among 2,000 UK policy figures signing new Climate & Nature Declaration
British MPs and councillors from all major political parties are among the first signatories of a new Climate & Nature Declaration, urging national leaders to act in line with the latest climate and biodiversity science.
Campaign group Zero Hour, perhaps best known for its work on the Climate and Ecology Bill in the UK, is launching the new Declaration today (1 November). The launch comes ahead of the UN’s 27th climate COP, beginning in Egypt this weekend, and the final round of talks for the UN’s 15th biodiversity COP, taking place in December in Montreal.
In signing the declaration, political representatives state their understanding of the importance of limiting the global temperature increase at or beyond 1.5C, given that further warming will bring cascading negative impacts for nature, economies and societies.
They commit to calling on their national leaders to deliver their fair share of emissions reductions under the Paris Agreement. A major report from the UN last week revealed that national pledges do not add up to the Agreement’s requirements; even if they are delivered in full, the agreed temperature pathways will be breached. Of course, the reality is that they are unlikely to be delivered in full.
The Declaration also states that political representatives will advocate for strong national plans to halt and reverse nature loss and for the integration of climate-related and nature-related decision-making and programme implementation.
Formally launching the Declaration in the UK Parliament today are Conservative MP for ST Ives, Derek Thomas; Labour MP for Leeds North West, Alex Sobel; SNP MP for Dunfermline and West Fife, Douglas Chapman and London Assembly Member and Green Party deputy Zack Polanski.
In total, almost 2,000 political representatives have signed the Declaration, with all UK nations represented in the signatory cohort. Former Biodiversity Minister Lord Knight, London Assembly Deputy Chair Andrew Boff, and Green Party co-leader Carla Denyer are among the signatories.
Zero Hour has called the Declaration “the next step in confirming cross-party, all-nation support for the scope and scale of the necessary measures to tackle the linked issues of climate and nature.”
“The Declaration resonates with widespread public concerns that much, much more needs to be done to tackle the climate-nature crises,” said Zero Hour campaign director Dr Amy McDonnell.
“Through it, politicians across the UK nations are promoting further and faster action to address the interlinked crises of ecosystem degradation and climate change; whilst also recognising the need for greater public engagement. The Declaration is a unique, all-party statement of action: it represents consensus, urgency and a shared determination to act now and avoid the worst effects of environmental breakdown.”
WWF’s latest ‘living planet’ report, published last month, warned that nature degradation is happening more rapidly and intensely. It revealed an average population size decline of all animals, excluding insects, of 69% between 1970 and present. Decline was found to be steeper in the Caribbean and Latin America.