In the video above, Tolhurst speaks with edie’s deputy editor Sarah George near the Millennium Bridge in London, where, on Friday 15 September, some 300 professionals queued to sign a declaration sent to all major British political parties.

The declaration at the end of the ‘Queue for Climate and Nature’ calls on MPs to make Manifesto commitments to rapidly deploy renewable energy; conserve and restore nature at pace and scale; and outline plans to end fossil fuel expansion in the North Sea.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak notably pledged to host a new North Sea oil and gas licencing round this upcoming winter in a speech made during Parliament’s summer recess. Labour subsequently said it would not run any new rounds itself, but would honour licences granted by any previous Governments.

Tolhurst told edie that policymakers need to hear strong calls for more joined-up and ambitious green policymaking at this time.

He said: “I fully understand how businesspeople feel nervous about speaking out in case they get in trouble with their bosses, or in case their company’s brands are not happy.

“But, at the end of the day, we are in an existential crisis. We have lost 50% of our nature and biodiversity just in the time I have been alive. We’ve just issued 100 new fossil fuel licences when all of the received wisdom says ‘do not burn any more fossil fuels’.

“It is time to be bold. It is time to be courageous. It is time to put the awkwardness away and speak out because, if not now – when?”

Watch the video in full above for additional comments from Tolhurst.

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