8 Letter 17/06

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

It is alarming that Labour’s current commitments to addressing climate change fall short of what is necessary. The decision to abandon the £28bn annual green investment plan is 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. We have witnessed unprecedented increases in greenhouse gas emissions, surface temperatures, and sea levels, with extreme weather events impacting every inhabited continent.

Investing in climate change mitigation now is not just an environmental necessity but also an economic strategy. Taking proactive measures today can prevent severe economic repercussions 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 to sustain and accelerate this momentum. I urge 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 urgent need to cease burning fossil fuels to avert further degradation. The extreme temperatures at the start of 2024 may signal 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 to come. 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. Addressing these challenges with the urgency they demand is imperative.

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