The Time is Now: Climate campaigners lobby for change outside Parliament
Thousands of campaigners across the UK are marching towards Parliament in a bid to urge MPs and the Government to strengthen commitments to tackling climate change, just days after the House of Commons approved draft recommendations for a national net-zero target.
The Time is Now lobby has been coordinated by more than 100 organisations, including CAFOD and various religious groups, to urge all government departments to implement new policies that help achieve net-zero emissions.
A key ambition of the lobby is to insist that UK overseas investment is also consistent with the aims of the Parisa Agreement. Earlier this month it was revealed that of the £2.6bn which the UK’s export credit agency spent supporting energy exports abroad between 2013 and 2018, 96% was funnelled into fossil fuel projects, mostly in developing nations.
From 2pm today (26 June) alarm clocks and mobile alarms will be set off to send a message to MPs that they need to “wake up” and respond to the challenges of climate change.
Our alarms are set, are yours? ⏰
— CAFOD (@CAFOD) June 26, 2019
Change is coming
The lobbyists also want the UK to show leadership in connecting the crises of poverty, climate change and environmental degradation. The Government is set to publish its Voluntary National Review (VNR) to its contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – which cover all of the above themes – later on today.
The calls for greater climate action are likely to be answered imminently, with policymakers expected to officially amend the Climate Change Act of 2008 to enshrine a net-zero target into law.
Parliamentary convention dictates that MPs must first respond to draft legislation through a verbal vote of ‘aye’ or ‘no’. Following a small discussion featuring a modest number of MPs on Monday night (24 June), the Commons approved the amendments without the need for a formal vote.
The approval comes just days after analysis by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) found that 16% of GDP is now covered by net-zero carbon emission ambitions, with fifteen nations, states and regional areas intending to reach the target by 2050.