Cross-party group of politicians demands end to ‘appeasement’ – ahead of new warnings from experts that greenhouse gas emissions must be cut further and faster
The UK must throw as much effort into stopping climate change as was deployed in defeating the Nazis, Theresa May is told today – ahead of new warnings from experts that greenhouse gas emissions must be cut further and faster.
The prime minister is told to put the country “on a war footing” and end “climate appeasement” to avert disaster, by a new cross-party group of politicians including Labour’s Ed Miliband and the Greens’ Caroline Lucas.
The call comes as Ms May prepares to receive fresh advice from her own climate watchdog that the current official target – to slash carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 – is inadequate and must be ripped up.
The Committee on Climate Change is expected to say the UK must reach zero emissions by as early as 2040, to help limit global temperature increases to 1.5C and avoid catastrophic effects.
The new target is also likely to pose challenges for Labour, which has set an ambition of zero emissions by 2050 – one day after it attempts to force the Commons to declare a climate emergency.
Meanwhile, Extinction Rebellion will demand the UK moves even faster by reducing net emissions to zero by 2025, when the group meet Michael Gove, the environment secretary, on Tuesday.
“This will be Michael Gove’s opportunity to show he’s ready to act on the climate and ecological emergency,” a spokesperson said, and added that the meeting would be filmed and released to the public.
The group will also meet John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, days after ending its Easter street protests, which brought huge disruption to central London and led to 1,130 arrests.
The battle against climate change is increasingly being likened to the situation facing governments in the 1930s, when all other considerations were sidelined by the need to fight Nazi Germany.
That comparison is brought to life in the launch of a new environmental justice commission by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) think tank, which also includes Laura Sandys, a former Conservative MP.'
Read more: UK must fight climate change on ‘war footing’ like defeat of Nazis, Theresa May told