Getting climate change onto the Election agenda…

We are asking people across Sheffield and beyond to write to their General Election candidates to make clear their concern about climate change. Sometimes politicians have told us they need to see more letters in their postbag to do more for the climate. Or they’ve hinted that there is consensus across the parties so no need to discuss climate action in an election.

So if you want elected leaders who take action on climate, would you download our model letter, personalise it, and send it to the most significant candidate to you – e.g. the sitting MP, the likely contender, or the person you plan to vote for?

SCATimetoAct-proformalettertoMPs

Sheffield Climate Alliance – Time to Act letters to MPs

The following is a suggested outline letter for SCA members to use as the basis for individual letters to their MP or candidate. The idea is that Sheffield MPs receive lots of personal letters expressing similar concerns, each letter stating our shared demands. A postal letter to your MP at the House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA tends to have more impact than an email.  We will then follow the letters up with meetings in small group with each MP or candidate.

Dear …your MP’s name

State your concern: e.g.

I am very concerned about climate change and lack of attention to this by any of the main political parties.

State the science, briefly, e.g.

The science is clear. Burning fossil fuels is causing rapid climate change. Rapid climate change is already killing people, damaging property and costing money here and abroad.

A clear UK example is extreme rainfall causing flooding, property damage, crop losses and demand for expensive flood defences. A clear example overseas is the growth of bush fires in Australia with loss of life and homes, and huge expense in fire fighting. Climate change is increasingly costing jobs, incomes, profits and draining public money as the real costs mount up.

To limit climate change to 2 degrees C (which still has dangerous impacts) means limiting global CO2 emissions to about 500,000 million tonnes by 2050. Proven reserves of fossil fuels are around 3000,000 million tonnes. If we burn it all we likely trigger runaway climate change with damage to our economy and society on the scale of World War. To avoid this we need effective global agreements to limit CO2 emissions and restrictions on extraction of fossil fuels. Compared to much of the rest of the world the UK has a large, strong economy, effective government and a cohesive society. We are well placed to take effective leadership and we have a lot to gain from doing so. Acting now means less cost in the longer term.

Give reasons why now is the time to act: General Election May 2015, Climate Talks Paris December 2015. eg

This is a crucial time to act with opportunity for political parties to show leadership in the run up to the General Election next year and the International Climate Talks in Paris in December 2015

We realise the challenge is enormous and the scale of change required hard to grasp. We realise it will mean big changes across all sectors of society and taking people with us.

State our demands. Include these four bullet points in every letter so there is consistency.

The national Campaign against Climate Change and our local Sheffield Climate Alliance do see a way forward to a positive future . We are calling on the next Government to move from delay to action in the following ways:

  • From delay to action: 10% emissions cuts year on year, creating at least one million climate jobs.

  • From fracking and fossil fuels to renewable energy for all our needs.

  • From cold homes and energy waste to insulation for all.

  • From exploitation to climate justice: UK support for a just international climate deal.

Please make requests of your MP in these 3 areas:

1. what’s in their manifesto? e.g.

We are aware your party’s manifesto is being firmed up. How are these demands reflected in your manifesto?

2.What are they doing about it personally? e.g.

Do you personally have any involvement in making sure your party’s manifesto addresses this challenge?

Or: How do you see your role in making sure your party can rise to the challenge of climate change?

Or: What are you personally doing to make sure these ideas are being prioritised?

3. Are they willing to meet? (SCA members could go together) e.g.

I would be interested to meet you to discuss these ideas further. Would you be interested to meet me?

Or: I would be happy to come to meet you and help in any way to discuss how these demands could be realised.

Or: I would be happy to come and meet you to discuss any questions you have arising from my letter.

I look forward to hearing from you

Yours sincerely