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The Climate & Ecology Bill

Voters demand faster environmental action, as MPs from all parties unite around a new action plan
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
Red squirrel amongst bluebells

As candidates calling for action to tackle the climate-nature crisis sweep the board at last week’s local elections, MPs from all major parties unite around the need for a new, science-led, people-powered legislative plan—the Climate & Ecology Bill—which will be introduced and debated in the House of Commons today (10 May).

Last week’s local elections results showed that voters rewarded those with green credentials – and punished parties with unambitious, or downright dangerous, environmental records.

At a national level, MPs from every major party are working together to pass a new environmental law—the Climate & Ecology Bill—in response to long-standing calls from two-thirds of the British public that the UK Government needs to do more to tackle climate change.

A cross-party plan for nature

The cross-party legislative plan—which also has society-wide backing from influential figures such as Mya-Rose Craig, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Prof. Joanna Haigh, Thom Yorke, Sadiq Khan and Sir David King—aims to bridge the gap between what the UK Government has agreed at international levels, and what is currently being delivered.

First introduced by Caroline Lucas in the House of Commons in September 2020—and later, in the House of Lords in 2022, by (Lib Dem) Lord Redesdale—Olivia Blake (Labour) will re-introduce the Climate & Ecology Bill with support from MPs including Derek Thomas (Conservative), Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey and Plaid Cymru Westminster leader Liz Saville-Roberts.

‘I’m proud to be leading the charge for the Climate & Ecology Bill—the joined-up, science-led plan to ensure that the UK plays its full role in reducing our emissions in line with 1.5°C, and reversing the destruction of nature.

‘When it comes to the climate-nature crisis, it’s often said that all that’s lacking is the political will. Today, under this new environmental plan, MPs are uniting across party lines to demonstrate to the government that we’re ready to work together to get Britain’s environmental policies on track.’

OLIVIA BLAKE MP


 

The climate-nature crisis

The Climate & Ecology Bill, formerly known as the Climate & Ecological Emergency (CEE) Bill, is a proposal for a new UK environmental law that addresses the full extent of the climate-nature crisis in line with the most up-to-date science.

Since 2020 Zero Hour has led a citizens’ campaign for this private members’ bill, which is backed by MPs, Peers, councillors, mayors and devolved legislators from the Conservatives, Labour, Labour/Co-op, SNP, DUP, Lib Dems, Plaid Cymru, SDLP, Alliance and Greens.

‘The Climate & Ecology Bill has been drafted by leading scientists with the aim of locking, in law, a joined-up climate and nature plan to transition the UK to a zero carbon, nature positive future. We’re delighted that MPs of all parties are taking up the public’s call for further, faster action—and we hope that our leaders are listening.’

DR AMY MCDONNELL
Zero Hour co-director

What is the Climate & Ecology Bill?

The Climate & Ecology Bill establishes a framework for the UK government to match its international environmental ambition with domestic action.

It requires ministers to meet new climate and nature targets linked to the Paris Agreement (1.5°C) limit, and the Montreal Agreement nature plan—delivering a comprehensive, joined-up approach to rapidly transition away from fossil fuel dependency, and reverse the destruction of nature by 2030.

The Bill has three key focuses: Climate: doing our fair share to cut UK emissions and stay below 1.5°C of global warming by taking full responsibility for our global carbon footprint; Nature: halting and reversing UK nature loss by 2030, taking full responsibility for our global ecological footprint and People: involving the public in a fair way forward through a ‘Climate & Nature Assembly’ to consult on the climate-nature strategy.

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