British MPs were warned by development agency Christian Aid, at a special briefing at the House of Commons on Wednesday 11 July 2007, that unless the UK Government commits to reducing emissions by at least 80% by 2050 millions of people in the developing world will suffer.
The briefing, hosted by Alan Campbell, MP for Tynemouth, was held for MPs who represent constituencies along the 1,000-mile route of Christian Aid’s Cut the Carbon march – the longest protest march in UK history – which started on Saturday 14 July.
The meeting was also attended by eight marchers from poor countries across the world that are threatened by climate change including Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tajikistan, India, Bangladesh, Brazil, El Salvador and the Philippines.
They told the MPs present that unless there was a global reduction in emissions, changes to the world’s climate would spell disaster for millions of people threatened by ever increasing droughts and floods.
The purpose was to present the political messaging behind the protest and drum up support for amendments to the new Climate Change Bill, currently in draft format, which will enter Parliament for discussion on 8 October - six days after the end of the march.
Christian Aid is calling on the UK Government to ensure the new Climate Bill includes:
* a target for UK CO2 emission cuts of at least 80 per cent on 1990 levels by 2050, so we play our fair part in keeping global warming below 2°C
* the introduction of mandatory reporting of CO2 emissions by companies trading in the UK.
Christian Aid also wants the UK to take the lead in calling for a UN agreement on climate change that works for the world’s poor and will cut rich countries’ CO2 emissions by at least 80 per cent by 2050.
Alan Campbell said: "I am pleased to support Christian Aid’s Cut the Carbon March. The draft Climate Change Bill is the first of its kind in the world and demonstrates that Britain is leading the way on environmental issues.
"It’s testament to the campaigning skills of groups such as Christian Aid that environmental issues have caught the public imagination and events like these are vital in raising awareness of the issue and show that important though government and international action is, it’s vital that every individual plays their part to ensure we create a sustainable environment for future generations."