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230224 | CLIMATE & ECOLOGY BILL A short introduction

CLIMATE & ECOLOGY BILL


A short introduction 


Zero Hour is the campaign for the Climate & Ecology Bill – a plan for a new UK law that addresses the full extent of the climate and nature crisis in line with the most up-to-date science. The Bill is the only proposed legislation before the UK Parliament that ensures a comprehensive and joined-up approach to the emergency.




The Climate & Ecology Bill summarised


The Climate & Ecology Bill sets out a whole-of-government emergency plan to rapidly transition away from fossil fuels and reverse the destruction of nature. The Bill is about:


  1. Tackling the climate and nature crises together
  2. Doing our fair share to cut UK emissions and stay below 1.5°C of global warming
  3. Halting and reverse UK biodiversity loss by 2030
  4. Taking responsibility for the entirety of our global carbon and ecological footprints
  5. Involving the public in a fair way forward.


The main points in the Climate & Ecology Bill by topic


Climate

If made law, the Bill would ensure that:

  • The UK plays its fair role in limiting global heating in line with international accords such as the Paris Agreement. This means keeping to the UK's fair share of the global carbon budget that provides the best chance of staying below 1.5°C of warming (as defined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).

  • The UK takes full responsibility for its greenhouse gas emissions, including those from international aviation and shipping, as well as those that are produced overseas in the manufacture of products consumed in the UK.

  • The UK establishes national carbon budgets, which are set every year rather than every five years.

  • All steps to reduce emissions must not damage ecosystems, food and water availability, or human health. The priority is always on reducing emissions from occurring in the first place.

  • The Bill also calls for an end to the exploration, extraction, export and import of fossil fuels.


Nature

The Bill would ensure that:


  • The UK plays its fair role in reversing the destruction of the natural world in line with international commitments such as the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature. This means that by 2030, nature is visibly and measurably on the path of recovery.

  • The UK takes full responsibility for its impact on nature and human health both within its own borders and around the world.

  • In keeping with the mitigation and conservation hierarchy, the UK first avoids, limits and or compensates for the harm caused by consumption, trade, finance and production. This includes damage from things like raw materials extraction, deforestation, pollution and waste.

  • Ecosystems are actively restored and expanded, with a focus on enhancing biodiversity and natural carbon sinks.


People

  • The emergency plan is drawn up with the help of a temporary Climate & Nature Assembly. This means ordinary people from all walks of life consult directly with the Government's expert bodies on climate and nature, before the plan is laid before Parliament.

  • Communities, individuals and young people actively benefit from the transition away from fossil fuels and towards an enhanced natural world. Sufficient financial support and retraining is offered to people working in industries that will see a decline (for instance, the oil and gas sector).


The campaign for the Climate & Ecology Bill


The Bill, which was written by scientists, experts and campaigners, was first introduced in Parliament by Caroline Lucas MP in September 2020, and now has the backing of 150 parliamentarians representing all major political parties.


Further information:


In major news for the cross-party Zero Hour campaign, West Cornwall campaigners are celebrating following news that Conservative MP—Derek Thomas—is now backing the Climate & Ecology Bill.

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