First published August 2020
Easier Than You Think is about the individual actions we can take to help fight climate change. However, as we all know, individual actions are not enough to change the world. If they were, trust me, I’d have a lot more ponies and a lot less rain in my life!
There is a perfect opportunity to do just that this week – you can write to your MP about the Climate and Ecological Emergency (CEE) bill. This is a bill that’s been created by activists, scientists and policy experts. If it passes, the bill will force the UK government to create an enact a serious plan to deal with all of our emissions - those we keep at home and those we palm off overseas.
Photo by Fabian Burghardt on Unsplash
We can't hope for technology to be invented that will save the day. We're running out of time and need to act now; the crazy extremes of weather we've seen in Bristol in the past few weeks are evidence of that. I believe that one of the best ways to enforce real change is through a citizen's assembly (which the CEE calls for) since some of the decisions that will need to be taken could be political suicide for any party. Although of course others may well prove hugely popular – who didn’t enjoy the cleaner air and quiet streets in the first few weeks of lockdown?
The bill is supported by Caroline Lucas, environmental writer Rob Hopkins and environmental academic Bill McKibben. And by me!
There are several ways you could contact your MP to ask them to support the CEE. You could write a letter, send an email or give them a ring.
If you’re unsure, this handy website will tell you who your MP is.
When writing to your MP, it’s best to pen something yourself rather than copying and pasting an email, as this means it’s more likely that your concerns will be read. However, it can be hard to know what to say. Here’s the email I wrote my lovely MP Kerry McCarthy, to give you an example of how this can be done.
Start off by telling your MP who you are and, if possible, making it clear that you know a bit about who they are. If they are doing good work to help fight climate change, thank them. If they’re not, don’t be rude or aggro; it won’t help the cause. If you don’t know where your MP stands on climate change, have a look at how they have voted about the issue previously on this website.
I am one of your constituents, and I'm writing to you to ask you to support the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill (the CEE). We've emailed before about several issues, including the frequent flyer tax, so I know you're dedicated to fighting climate change. Thank you for all you are doing for the planet.
Talk a bit about why you care about this issue. Are you worried about your family, friends abroad, animals, the developing world? Tell your MP about this.
I am terrified by climate change. In the past months, we've seen some of the highest temperatures on record in the UK, followed by devastating winds and rain. We can't hide from the truth anymore - climate change is coming. It's going to make our lives difficult, and the lives of our children unthinkable. Of course, it’s already wreaking havoc in the developing world, as a result of the consumption habits of the West, which is so shameful.
Photo by Carolyn V on Unsplash
Tell them why you’re emailing – and again, make it personal if you can.
I'm going to guess that you already know about and support the CEE bill - but just in case, I'll tell you a bit about it.
The bill is a call for the UK to make and (crucially!) stick to an urgent and serious plan for dealing with our emissions; ALL of our emissions, both those at home and those we palm off overseas. The bill also calls for the protection and conservation of nature and a recognition of the damage we do through our consumption habits.
End your email with a call to action and more thanks; either for their hard work, or just for reading your letter.
Please do all you can to get this bill passed - the planet needs us to act.
Thank you again for all the hard work you do,
And then sign your name.
If you would prefer to call your MP, that’s great – apparently that has more impact. Personally, I get a bit flustered on the phone – written words are way more my thing than spoken ones – but the few times I have gathered up my courage and called an MP, they’ve always been polite and open to listening to what I have to say.
Good luck, and let us know how you get on in the comment box below!
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
Did you know: The Extinction Rebellion protests of 2019 had a direct impact on the UK’s announcement that we are in a climate emergency. Protesting can work!