We assembled at the Town Hall because there is Climate and Ecological Emergency. Our world has never been hotter in the 200,000 years of humankind. Ferocious fires, floods, food shortages and mass extinctions are a fact of today and without legislation like the CEE bill here and worldwide far worse lies in store. We are fast approaching the critical threshold of a 1.5 degree celsius rise in global average temperatures. We dare not cross that deadly threshold but we also know the pledges made by states are hopelessly inadequate. That is why we need this bill.
The beautiful banners made by XR Hackney showed the huge desire in our borough for this bill. It offers a monitored and legally enforceable means of dramatically reducing deadly 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 has many good points here are three:
We see with the COVID pandemic how an ever expanding, reckless free-market capitalist system has trashed the environment and unleashed this virus stealing the lives of millions. Coming out of this pandemic we must reject the bankrupt ‘business as usual’ model that created this health emergency and created climate change, an even bigger health emergency. Build Back Better has become an overused and misused term, but this bill could and should be part of that ‘better.’
But we know too that the government’s build back better is not ours; it has a different agenda which means bailing out industries like aviation, issuing North Sea drilling licences for oil and gas and spending thirteen times more on military and nuclear re-armament than cutting emissions. In short its example shows it does not deserve to lead on COP26.
COVID like climate change falls unequally on the poorest and also exacerbates poverty. To address that we need investment in public services, frontline workers and investment in 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 the CEE bill. Backing is gathering momentum with than a 100 MPs now supporting it. But the government possess a massive majority so our Build Back Better will only be achieved by if we organise in our communities, workplaces trade and unions. Build Back Better is contingent on whether we fight back better.
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