Reinstate Department Responsible For Fighting Climate Change

Image ©Licensed to i-Images Picture Agency. 12/02/2015. Barking, United Kingdom. Theresa May visits Al Madina Mosque. The Home Secretary Theresa May meets with students from the Young Leaders Programme, spiritual leaders, and community representatives in a visit to Al Madina Mosque in East London. Picture by Daniel Leal-Olivas / i-Images

Target: Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Theresa May

Goal: Reinstate the Department of Climate Change, and ensure the UK meets its emission reduction targets.

The Department of Climate Change, the body of the British government responsible for efforts to mitigate climate change, has been abolished and its responsibilities have been handed to the Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy. This effectively halves the number of cabinet posts with an explicit concern for the environment. Given the appointment of climate change skeptics to major cabinet roles, and the fact that the Paris agreement has not yet been ratified in the UK, voices advocating for climate action are critical for the UK to have a responsible government. Furthermore, the Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy has a conflict of interest regarding climate change as many of the strategies aimed at promoting short term growth will increase emissions.

The abolition of the Department of Climate Change comes in a period of record-breaking heat. The past 16 months have broken temperature records. While conservative climate change projections give humanity two decades at most to act decisively to mitigate climate change, in every model our survival as a species relies on us beginning to act now. A critical part of mitigating climate change is ratifying the Paris agreement. Sign our petition and demand the reinstatement of the Department of Climate Change, and that the UK ratify and adhere to its commitments under the Paris Agreement.

PETITION LETTER

Dear Prime Minister May

I was disturbed to hear of the abolition of the Department of Climate Change (DeCC). Given your appointment of climate change skeptics to cabinet positions, it is worrying that at the same time you have acted to reduce the number of cabinet positions concerned with the environment. Especially considering the appointment of vocal climate change skeptic Andrea Leadsom as Environment Secretary.

I understand the need to balance business, economic, and industrial performance with efforts to mitigate climate change. However, the very fact that they must be balanced speaks to a conflict between the two interests. Which is why I was dismayed to hear that the responsibilities of the DeCC were given to the Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy. This can only lead to conflicts of interest which will lead to inaction.

I urge you to reinstate the Department of Climate Change. Along with the BREXIT negotiations, mitigating climate change should be of high priority for the UK. In addition, therefore, I urge you to do everything in your power to ensure that the Paris Agreement is ratified.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: UK Home Office

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