4 Letter 17/06

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

It is alarming that Labour’s current efforts to address climate change fall short of what is needed. The decision to retract the policy of investing £28bn annually in a green investment plan represents a major setback. The United Nations’ weather agency has warned that we are 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, with violent weather extremes observed on every inhabited continent.

Investing in climate change mitigation now is not only an environmental necessity but also an economic one. Taking proactive measures today can prevent substantial economic damage in the future and protect vulnerable communities from the escalating impacts of climate change. The nearly 50% increase in renewable energy capacity in 2023 demonstrates that progress is achievable. However, it is crucial that we maintain and accelerate this momentum. I urge you to advocate for robust climate policies and to reconsider the decision to scale back green investment. The future of our planet and the well-being of future generations hinge on the actions we take now.

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

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