6 Letter 17/06

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Allow me to extend my sincere congratulations on your recent electoral success. Your victory is a testament to the confidence and hope that your constituents have placed in your leadership. As you step into this vital role, I urge you to give paramount importance to the pressing issue of climate change, which requires immediate and decisive action.

It is profoundly troubling that Labour’s current commitments to addressing climate change fall short of what is necessary. The recent decision to abandon the policy of investing £28bn annually in a green investment plan marks a significant and concerning U-turn. The United Nations’ weather agency has warned that we are nearing the critical 1.5C global heating threshold, and the World Meteorological Organization has confirmed that 2023 was the hottest year on record. Key indicators such as greenhouse gas emissions, surface temperatures, and sea levels have reached alarming highs, with extreme weather events documented on every inhabited continent.

Investing in climate change mitigation now is not just an environmental necessity but also an economic imperative. Taking proactive measures today can avert severe 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 implore you to advocate for robust climate policies and reconsider the decision to reduce 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 prevent further degradation. The extreme temperatures at the beginning 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, predominantly in Africa and South Asia. It is imperative that we confront these challenges with the urgency they demand.

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