In 2019 the UK parliament declared a nationwide climate emergency. But not enough is being done to tackle climate breakdown with the urgency it requires. We need deeds, not words. And this is our chance.
08 Nov 2019
We’re facing a climate emergency. We have a short window of time to avoid irrevocable climate breakdown. That’s why tackling the climate breakdown needs to be a top priority this election – but experience tells us that if we don’t put climate at the top of the agenda, politicians won’t either.
During the run-up to an election, parliamentary candidates listen to what their voters care about and make commitments for what they would do if they were in office. Commitments we can then hold them to.
That’s why we need to use this time to pressure anyone running for office to adopt our Climate Action pledge.
The Climate Action pledge
The simple pledge we want all parliamentary candidates to commit to is this:
“I’ll make the climate crisis a deal-breaker in how I vote in Parliament. I’ll vote to support measures that help us rapidly cut greenhouse gas emissions and build a fairer and greener society.”
We need as many parliamentary candidates as possible to agree to this pledge. Once they’ve agreed, get a photo of them holding up this printable sign, share on social media using the hashtag #TakeClimateAction, and then report the pledge via our survey.
The more candidates who sign up to our pledge, the more MPs we’ll be able to hold to account for acting on it when they get elected. The pledge is a starting point which will help us push MPs to take bolder and faster action to tackle the climate crisis.
Get deeper commitments
If you have more time with a parliamentary candidate, it’s a great opportunity to engage them in a deeper conversation about climate action and where they stand on key issues. Why not start by asking them if they support the following measures, taken from our Climate Action Plan for the UK Government?
Investing in brilliant and cheap public transport, while making it easier to cycle and walk everywhere.
Stopping the sale of new petrol and diesel cars within the decade.
Aiming for 100% clean energy from the wind, sun and sea.
Stopping the generation of electricity from dirty fuels and securing a permanent ban on fracking in England.
Taking bold action to end our throwaway society and plastic pollution.
Funding a massive insulation scheme and shifting to eco-friendly heating – ending the misery of cold, expensive-to-heat homes.
Doubling tree cover and letting wildlife thrive because our land is too precious to be given over to intensive farming.
Opposing projects that fuel climate breakdown, like airport expansion.
Paying the UK’s fair share to support more vulnerable countries to cut carbon pollution and deal with the impacts of climate breakdown.
How to secure pledges and commitments
Organise a climate justice hustings
Organising a hustings is a great way to find out what your parliamentary candidates really think about the climate crisis, as well presenting an opportunity to get them to take the pledge. It’s also a great way to build alliances with other groups by organising the event together, and will help you engage more members of the public in your campaign.
Meet with your candidates
If organising a hustings isn’t for you, that doesn’t mean you can’t speak to your parliamentary candidates about the climate crisis. Ask them to meet with your group for a quick meeting, find out if they are attending an existing hustings, or meet them as they campaign out and about in your area. Wherever you meet them, ask them to take the Climate Action pledge.
Secure a pledge via email or on social media
If you’re not able to meet your candidates you can still get a commitment from them. You can search for their email address online or contact them via social media to find out where they stand. If they’re willing to take the pledge ask them to post the following tweet:
“I’ll make the climate crisis a deal-breaker in how I vote in Parliament. I’ll vote to support measures that help us rapidly cut greenhouse gas emissions and build a fairer and greener society. #TakeClimateAction”
Tell us what you find
Once you’ve had conversations with your parliamentary candidates – whether that be during a hustings, at a private meeting or on the doorstep – we’d love to hear about it. This way we can track progress across the country and share useful intel with the network. It will also help us build a list of candidates who have committed to take climate action, whom we’ll be able to hold to account once elected.
And, if you need any help, remember to get in touch by using the #election2019 channel on Slack or by emailing us on firstname.lastname@example.org.