Climate crisis: Sheffield MP introduces new bill to cut carbon emissions
Sheffield Hallam Labour MP Olivia Blake presented the Climate and Ecology Bill to Parliament for its first reading on Wednesday (May 10). The bill, backed by parliamentarians from all major parties, aims to bridge the gap between what the government has agreed at international levels and what is currently being delivered.
The bill has won backing by influential figures such as ornithologist Mya-Rose Craig, food and environment campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, physicist Prof Joanna Haigh, musician Thom Yorke, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and climate change expert Sir David King.
The bill was first introduced by Green MP Caroline Lucas in the House of Commons in September 2020. Now Olivia Blake is re-introducing it with support from MPs including Conservative Derek Thomas, Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey and Plaid Cymru Westminster leader Liz Saville-Roberts.
Olivia Blake said: “I’m proud to be leading the charge for the Climate and 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. 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.”
Zero Hour is a campaign that has been set up to back the bill. Co-director Dr Amy McDonnell said: “The Climate and 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 Mya-Rose Craig said: “I’m proud to back the Climate and Ecology Bill and call on every MP and every party to get behind it. By setting a science-led environmental framework for the UK — one that’s pinned on 1.5°C and reversing nature loss — we can hold our heads high.
“Our precious wildlife will be given a chance to bounce back as we end the pollution of our countryside and rivers and give nature-friendly farming a chance to flourish. Ending our reliance on deadly fossil fuels will mean cheaper, cleaner renewable energy for all—as well as cleaner air, easing the burden on the NHS.
“This is what the public wants. It’s what those marching outside Westminster want. It’s time to get this done.”
Last year, Olivia Blake ran a series of climate assemblies with her constituents in Sheffield Hallam, culminating in the Hallam Climate Manifesto.
Ahead of the COP26 international climate talks, the MP joined constituents to deliver the manifesto to 10 Downing Street, calling for urgent action on the climate and nature emergency and outlining a number of policies people in Sheffield Hallam would like to see enacted.
To find out more about the campaign, go to https://www.zerohour.uk/