UK Parliament Drags Feet Over Climate Emergency

In 2019, the UK Parliament declared a Climate Emergency but a proposed Climate and Ecological Emergency (CEE) Bill is being delayed, with no firm timescale for debate.

Drafted by scientists, legal experts, ecological economists and environmentalists, the CEE Bill was tabled by Green Party MP Caroline Lucas and is designed specifically to reverse climate and ecological breakdown.  It asks the UK to take responsibility for its fair share of greenhouse gas emissions, to actively restore biodiverse habitats and to stop damage to the environment through the production, transportation and disposal of the goods we consume.

More than 100 MPs across 8 political parties, from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have expressed support for the Bill but progress appears stalled.  To  seek further support and to call for a firm date for debate, campaigners across the UK staged a coordinated ‘banner drop’ across the country on 26 March.  Groups and individuals hung banners on public buildings calling for support for the CEE Bill and called on their local MPs on Twitter using #CEEBill to make the Bill a priority in parliament.

The action was orchestrated by the CEE Bill Alliance, which is run by a group of eminent academics, climate scientists, activists and change-makers.

2020 was not only the hottest year, but also the end to the hottest decade on record. Massive wildfires scorched Australia, Siberia, and California, and the ice cover continues to shrink as melting seasons are getting longer. Climate change is no longer a prediction, it’s a reality and, the Alliance argues, never in our history has there been a more pressing need for radical new legislation.

CEE Bill Alliance video setting out the need for a Bill

Anna Hyde from the CEE Bill Alliance, commented: “It took four years to get the Climate Change Bill through Parliament, we don't have that long for the CEE Bill, this is urgent. We need to drive as many people as possible to sign up to the Bill and get it raised up the agenda. It is what we do right now that will make or break our future.”

Campaigners got creative in calling for support from MPs on Twitter.