7 Letter 17/06

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I extend my heartfelt congratulations on your recent electoral victory. This achievement reflects the trust and expectations that your constituents have vested in your leadership. As you embark on this significant journey, I urge you to prioritise the critical issue of climate change, which demands immediate and resolute action.

It is deeply concerning that Labour’s current commitments to tackling climate change are insufficient. The recent decision to abandon the £28bn annual green investment plan represents a worrying U-turn. The United Nations’ weather agency has warned that we are approaching the perilous 1.5C global heating limit, and the World Meteorological Organization has confirmed that 2023 was the hottest year on record. Alarming increases in greenhouse gas emissions, surface temperatures, and sea levels have been documented, with extreme weather events affecting every inhabited continent.

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

Climate scientist Friederike Otto has stressed the urgent need to stop burning fossil fuels to prevent further degradation. The extreme temperatures at the start of 2024 may indicate an unexpected acceleration of the climate crisis. Andreas Fink has pointed out 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, damaging 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. Confronting these challenges with the urgency they demand is imperative.

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