XR York Urges Support for Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill

In a bid to encourage support for the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill, a new campaign by Extinction Rebellion York asks people to imagine where they might be in 2050.

When you think about your future, how far forward do you consider? In a new campaign, Extinction Rebellion York are asking people to imagine where they might be in 2050. Supporters have uploaded clips to YouTube to share their hopes and fears for the future of our climate. Extinction Rebellion York hopes that the campaign will attract attention from local MPs and encourage them to support the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill (CEE).

Image Credits: TheDigitalArtist

What is the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill? The CEE is supported by 100 MPs to date – including York Central MP, Rachel Maskell– and outlines a series of measures required to take control of ever-increasing global temperatures. The CEE awaits a second hearing in the House of Commons. Previously scheduled for the 26th of March 2021, the hearing is presently postponed.

The Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill proposes that the UK:

  • Contributes to climate change mitigation consistent with limiting global temperatures increase to 1.5 degrees
  • Ensures full responsibility in accounting for the UK’s entire greenhouse gas footprint (including consumption emissions, passenger international shipping, flights and land-based transport)
  • Reduces of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions to zero at energy sources
  • Abide by national carbon in enacting the transition to a carbon neutral economy
  • Restores and regenerate habitats, including the protection and health of soils and biodiversity in both rural and urban ecosystems
  • Considers any negative emissions technologies only with proven efficacy and stringent safeguarding against any negative impacts on any ecosystems
  • Primarily pursues carbon neutral approaches, ensuring that negative emissions technologies are not factored into prospective mitigation pathways as a substitute for societal decarbonisation.
  • Implements conditions that protect health and resilience of ecosystems along domestic and UK global supply chains (including extraction of natural resources, land degradation pollution and waste)
  • Proposes benchmark standards created by independent bodies to evaluate mitigation, protection and restoration pathways
  • Proposes a Citizen’s Assembly of the UK population to work alongside Government to ensure strategy and solutions to enact the proposed law are democratic
Image Credits: andyreedobe

The CEE was originally proposed by former leader of the Green Party, Caroline Lucas. In a speech given in the House of Commons on February 9th 2021, Lucas commented that ‘ambitious action could not be more urgent’, further stating that the CEE ‘brings the future into the present and our responsibility to the future into the present, too’. The former Green Party leader referenced the importance of ‘citizens engagement’ and ‘shared purpose’, citing the Big Ask Campaign of 2006 as an example of a previously successful grassroots organisation. Concluding the speech with a sobering warning, Lucas stated ‘we are nearing a cliff edge of cascading Earth system collapse’.

Extinction Rebellion York comments that the CEE encourages people to ‘look ahead to two possible futures’: a world in which ‘the action laid out in the CEE Bill has created a more sustainable and equitable society’ or a future where ‘climate breakdown is causing huge suffering across the world’. They hope that contributions to the campaign will encourage York Outer MP Julian Sturdy and Robert Goodwill, MP for Whitby and Scarborough, to pledge their support to the CEE.

Image Credits: hhach

So, what are the hopes and fears of local residents, and how do they imagine their futures? Luisa fears for a future where ‘there will be conflicts between countries for essential resources’, whilst Will fears ‘disaster that was preventable will occur’. Other campaign videos detail hopes of ‘living in a zero-carbon home in a car-free city’ and a world where there are ‘more green spaces available to everyone’. Adam comments that the CEE is ‘truly a matter of life and death’, whilst Harry prompts a stark reminder: ‘the clock is ticking – and it’s ticking fast’. Campaigners urge their local MPs to pledge support for the Bill before it is too late. Jane comments that ‘we owe it to the next generation’.

Image Credits: CEEbill_NOW/Twitter

If you’ve been inspired by Extinction Rebellion York:

Click here to find out more about the CEE Bill.

Click here to watch the campaign videos on their YouTube Channel.

To access the CEE Bill, click here.

About the author: Holly Miles is News and Politics Editor of WILD Magazine and is in her third year of studying English Literature at the University of York.

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