2 Letter 17/06

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Congratulations on your recent electoral success. Your victory is a testament to the trust and confidence your constituents have placed in you. As you step into this role, I implore you to prioritise the urgent and pressing issue of climate change, which requires immediate and decisive action.

It is concerning that Labour is falling short in its commitments to address climate change effectively. The recent U-turn on the policy to invest £28bn annually in a green investment plan is a significant regression. The United Nations’ weather agency has warned that the world is nearing the critical 1.5C global heating limit, and the World Meteorological Organization has confirmed that 2023 was the hottest year on record. Key indicators such as greenhouse gas emissions, ocean heat, and sea level rise have reached unprecedented levels, and violent weather extremes have been observed on every inhabited continent.

Investing now in measures to combat climate change is not only an environmental necessity but also an economic one. By taking bold action today, we can mitigate future economic damage and protect vulnerable communities from the escalating impacts of climate change. The growth in renewable energy, with a nearly 50% increase in capacity in 2023, demonstrates that progress is achievable. However, it is crucial that we do not lose momentum. I urge you to advocate for stronger climate policies and to reconsider the decision to scale back on green investment. The future of our planet and the well-being of future generations hinge on the decisions we make today.

Climate scientist Friederike Otto has emphasised the need to stop burning fossil fuels to prevent worsening conditions. The extreme temperatures at the start of 2024 may indicate an unexpected acceleration of the climate crisis. Andreas Fink noted that extreme years like 2023 are possible in current climate simulations. Simon Lewis described the state of the climate as an “accelerating crisis” with worsening impacts to come. Marine heatwaves affected one-third of the world’s oceans daily in 2023, harming ecosystems and food systems. Climate change has worsened extreme weather events, increasing acute food insecurity to 333 million people, mainly in Africa and South Asia. It is imperative that we address these issues with the urgency they demand.

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