Despite Covid restrictions a banner drop in support of the Climate and Ecological Emergency (CEE) bill took place on March 26 at Hackney Town Hall. The action was backed by Sustainable Hackney and Hackney- XR members who added their magnificent banners. The action attracted the support of 23 different groups that included the Trades Council, Hackney Labour for a Green New Deal, the National Education Union, the Green and Socialist Worker's Party. Diane Abbott was commended for her support and Meg Hillier was invited to offer hers.
We are here today because there is Climate and Ecological Emergency. The world has never been hotter in 200,000 years of human history. Ferocious fires, floods, food shortages and mass extinctions are today a fact of life and without legislation like the CEE bill, here and everywhere worse lies in store. We know are fast approaching the critical threshold of a 1.5c. rise in global average temperatures. We know we dare not cross that deadly threshold. But we also know the pledges made by states are hopelessly inadequate. That is why we need the Climate and Ecological Emergency bill.
This banner shows the huge desire in this our community for this bill. It offers a monitored and legally enforceable means of dramatically reducing life-threatening carbon emissions.
We applaud Diane Abbott, MP Hackney North, for backing it and we invite Meg Hiller, MP for Hackney South to support it too. We say to her this is not a time for narrow party loyalty to policy which might only see the light of day if Labour is elected in 2024. We’d like both our MPs to support this bill.
It contains three key aspects: First carbon emissions must be counted fairly and focus not only on the UK but also acknowledge those from overseas manufactured goods and imports. Secondly, it favours the regeneration of habitats over banking on untested technical fixes like Carbon Capture and Storage and thirdly it proposes a more democratic approach calling for a citizens’ assembly to work with parliament. This will allow ordinary people to decide on their priorities so there is no a narrow focus on an unrepresentative parliament where powerful lobby groups buy corporate influence.
With the COVID pandemic we see how reckless free-market forces have trashed the environment and unleashed this virus stealing the lives of millions. Coming out of this pandemic unless this bankrupt model is abandoned it will create a greater emergency in the form of climate change. Build Back Better has become an overused, hackneyed term, but this bill could be part of that ‘better.’ However, we know, too, that build back better for the Government means bailing out industries like aviation, more north sea drilling licenses for oil and gas and spending thirteen times more on military and nuclear re-armament than cutting emissions. Like COVID, climate change does not only fall unequally on the poorest but it makes the poor poorer.
To address that we need investment in and pay rises for public services and frontline workers environmental education, green skills and training for jobs to tackle the climate and ecological emergency.
The government’s build back better is not ours. Look out for more cronyism and the propping up the profits of the polluters. Part of our build back better is this ambitious bill. Backing is gathering momentum with more than a 100 MPs now supporting it. But we know the government has a huge majority. So our build back better will only be achieved by us if we organise and fight back better in our communities, workplaces and trade unions.
Have you signed our petition yet? Once you have, do pass it on to family, friends and other contacts. It is a great way to spread the word about the Bill. And it helps us build our supporter base.
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