Campaign against Climate Change protesters gather outside the Treasury on 26 July.
George Osborne's new 'dash for gas' threatens to destroy any hope we might have of reaching the Climate Act targets. But the Lib Dems could apply pressure to stop him. Write to Nick Clegg and tell him to stand up to Osborne. We also suggest you write to your MP.
In 2008, the UK Parliament passed the Climate Change Act almost unanimously. This historic piece of legislation set not just a legally binding target of at least an 80% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, but also established the independent Committee on Climate Change to ensure we remain on track.
Four years on, and vested interests have succeeded in undermining this political consensus. Despite the fact that the green economy is the only part of the UK economy that is actually growing, the Chancellor George Osborne, egged on by many Tory backbenchers, seems intent on bringing it to a grinding halt.
His intention is to lock the UK economy back into dependence on fossil fuels in the guise of a new 'dash for gas'. The crunch point for the targets contained within the Climate Change Act will come this autumn: will the Energy Bill contain a target to clean up (decarbonise) the UK's electricity by 2030, as recommended by the Committe on Climate Change, or will unabated gas lay waste to the UK's emissions targets?
Importantly, these policy changes cannot go ahead without the Liberal Democrats agreeing to them. There is still time to get carbon targets into the Energy Bill when Parliament returns in the autumn. Write to Nick Clegg and tell him to stand up to Osborne.
- We can't afford the Climate Change Act to become obsolete. The signs of dangerous climate change are already evident. Without concerted action we will quickly move beyond a point that could not conceiveably be thought of as safe.
- The Department for Energy and Climate Change cannot explain how significant amounts of unabated gas could be compatible with meeting our climate targets.
- It is essential that the Energy Bill contains a target to decarbonise our electricity sector by 2030.
- If your MP is a Liberal Democrat - remind them of their party's long record on environmental protection and climate change. Do they want to be part of the government that effectively tore up the Climate Change Act? Ask them to write to Nick Clegg.
- If your MP is a Conservative - ask them to tell David Cameron to step in to keep the Treasury out of energy policy.
- Some Conservatives are supportive of climate change policy - they would like to conserve the planet the way it is! (read more)
- But your MP could have been one of those who signed up to an anti-windfarm agenda. If so, they may benefit from a reality check - in the real world new wind is more popular than new gas power. And gas prices are likely to rise.
- If your MP is Labour - ask them where Ed Miliband is in all this. It is time he set out a clear alternative.
Finally, you can make the same points in an email to Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.
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Read more about the politics and recent events before our protest outside the Treasury.
PS. Did we mention that George Osborne's father in law is a lobbyist for oil and gas companies?