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May 12th, 2011

Is Cameron about to break climate promises?

By Cian O'Donovan

Pic of David Cameron after he promised to lead the greenest government ever

Photograph by DECC

Less than a week into office David Cameron promised he would lead the “greenest government ever”. Now it looks like the prime minister is about to break a crucial commitment on climate change.

The crunch decision is expected next week. If it goes the wrong way, it could set back the fight against climate change for years to come. We need to move fast to stop that happening.

The press reports that the government is “deeply divided” on whether to tackle climate change. The UK’s chief climate adviser has described next week’s decision as “the key test” of the government’s commitment to being green.

Cameron has always promised to follow the advice of his scientists. But Treasury hardliners are pushing him to ignore the advice. [1] They want watered-down targets, cuts in green jobs, and a boost for the dirtiest industries.

David Cameron wants to be seen as a prime minister who keeps promises and cares about the environment. That gives us an opportunity to influence him. We need to ensure David Cameron is hearing from every single MP, all telling him the public won’t stand for broken green promises.

Please contact your MP urgently. Tell them to write to the prime minister, demanding he keeps his climate change promises.

By working together to put pressure on our MPs, we can make David Cameron realise that breaking promises on climate change would ruin his reputation. This is a man who posed in the Arctic with huskies, and promised to run the “greenest government ever”. If we speak out now, we can send a clear message: you can’t get away with talking green and acting dirty.

Tens of thousands of 38 Degrees members are working together to push this government to keep its green promises. Together, we stopped them selling off the forests, protecting them for wildlife and future generations. Nearly 50,000 of us have now signed the petition to keep the laws which protect our countryside and our wildlife. Now let’s work together to stop this urgent threat to the UK taking action on climate change.

The clock is ticking. A decision is expected early next week. We know that the hardliners will be using that time to put as much pressure on Cameron as they can. If enough of us contact our MPs, we can drown them out with people power.

Please email your MP urgently and ask them to contact David Cameron as soon as possible.

[1] The really important recommendations are:

  • A Domestic Action fourth carbon budget of 1950 MtCO2e
  • An indicative 2030 target to reduce emissions by 60% relative to 1990 levels (46% relative to 2009 levels)
  • An adjustment of the second and third budgets to reflect the level of ambition in the intended budget for the non-traded sector, giving an economy-wide reduction of 37% in 2020 relative to 1990

The full report is available from the Committee on Climate Change website.

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