MPs urged to sign up to back radical climate action

By agency reporter
18 Nov 2009

MPs are being urged to sign up to a parliamentary early day motion calling on the UK government to urge the European Union to take a much stronger stand in tackling climate change.

So far more than 100 have responded after letters from constituents and encouragement from campaign groups.

With only a few weeks to go before the crucial UN climate change summit in Copenhagen, the motion says industrialised countries bear the greatest responsibility for global warming.

It calls on EU governments to commit to 40 per cent cuts in carbon emissions by 2020. The present target is 20 per cent, rising to 30 per cent if a global deal is reached at Copenhagen.

In addition, the motion says that by 2020, the EU must provide at least 35 billion Euros annually to help poorer countries adapt to climate change and develop in a carbon clean manner.

It also calls on the UK government to reject plans for any new coal-fired power stations unless they are fitted with equipment to capture and store carbon emissions – a technology still being developed.

So far the motion has been signed by 51 Labour MPs, 41 Liberal Democrats, seven Conservatives, including former Secretary of State for the Environment John Gummer, two SDLP MPs and two independents.

It was tabled on behalf of Stop Climate Chaos, a coalition of more than 100 UK organisations, including Christian Aid, with a combined supporter base of more than 11 million.

The Director of Stop Climate Chaos Coalition, Ashok Sinha said: "It is encouraging that more than 100 MPs have shown how seriously they take the threat of climate change. However, we hope more will sign.

"The present EU target for cutting emissions is woefully inadequate and will do little to keep global warming below 2oC, the point beyond which scientists predict climate catastrophe.

"It is also essential that rich countries reveal just how much money they are prepared to pay to help developing countries counter climate change. It was a scandal that there was no such announcement during the recent meeting of G20 finance ministers.

"The 35 billion Euros proposed in the early day motion is a minimum for the EU alone. If rich countries, which bear most of the responsibility for climate change, do not show that they are prepared to shoulder such costs, the prospect of reaching a fair, ambitious and binding agreement at Copenhagen is remote."

Stop Climate Chaos is encouraging thousands of people to join the UK’s biggest ever demonstration, The Wave, on 5 December in London to support action on climate change and to draw attention to Copenhagen. For more information go to: www.the-wave.org.uk

You can also buy Christian Aid charity gifts and support present aid online.

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