During February ZERO teamed up with The Friary shopping centre in Guildford to support the Climate Coalition's 'Show The Love' campaign.
The goal of the campaign was simple: collect messages of support for ambitious climate action and present them to local decision makers. And Guildford definitely delivered! Across our two locations at the bottom of North Street, ZERO and The Friary collected around 3000 messages of support for action on the climate crisis!
We had contributions from local schools, youth groups, businesses and charities, and countless residents. Watch our video of the campaign and then read on to find out why we were keen to support this campaign, and what we were asking our MP, parliamentary candidates, and local councillors to support!
⏬💚Watch our SHOW THE LOVE campaign video! 💚⏬
We loved this campaign because ZERO is founded on a marriage of realism and optimism. On our current trajectory we are headed for 3-4 of warming, which, the IPCC has clearly demonstrated, will be catastrophic for a majority of life on earth. BUT, it's not too late to avert the worst of the climate crisis...if we begin taking immediate and ambitious action to prevent climate breakdown and the loss of the ecosystems which support.
And t0 do that we need to take urgent, collaborative action, bringing together communities, schools, churches, councils, and businesses if we are to mitigate and adapt to the worst of the climate emergency. But we also need a radical shift in the approach of global governments, particularly in planning laws and house building, major investment in decarbonisation of the grid and public transport, and resilience building through transformation of how we live, work, and feed ourselves.
So on February 26th we invited local decision makers to come and view the thousands of messages for climate action on display in ZERO and The Friary shopping centre, our neighbour at the bottom of North Street in Guildford.
We were joined by MP for Guildford Angela Richardson, Lib Dem parliamentary candidate Zoe Franklin, and Greens parliamentary candidate Mark Bray-Parry. We also had Guildford Borough councillors visit.
Tackling The Climate Crisis Through Policy
We put forward 3 policies to decision makers that ZERO supports to tackle the climate crisis. These were:
The Climate & Ecology Bill
The CEE Bill is legislation which can help tackle the climate and ecological crisis. Drafted by dozens of scientists, legal experts, and economists - including Guildford's own Professor Tim Jackson of CUSP - it is an ambitious plan to reverse biodiversity loss and carbon emissions. With support of over 430 organisations, as well as cross-party support from MPs and peers.
Angela Richardson has still not signed up in support of the bill, despite her acknowledgement at our Show The Love event that climate & environment is in the top 1 or 2 of Guildford constituents concerns. Find out more about the Climate and Ecology Bill.
The Climate Education Bill
The Climate Education Bill was written to address the lack of appropriate inclusion about the threat of climate change in the national education curriculum. Teach The Future, an organisation comprised of students from across the UK< surveyed over 4600 teachers across all subjects - 89% of who concluded that climate change was relevant to their subject. Despite this, 2/3 concluded that climate change was adequately embedded in the curriculum.
The Climate Education Bill has been through two readings in Parliament, and like the Climate & Ecology Bill has cross-party backing.
Find out more about the bill and the great work of Teach The Future here.
The Local Electricity Bill
Never has there been a time more appropriate for a bill on local electricity generation to be in the headlines. (Still nowhere to be seen though). We currently face a war in Europe, a climate crisis, and a fuel crisis, all driven by fossil fuels. Europe is funding both sides of the first war on European soil in 75 years because we are so dependent on imported oil & gas from Russia. There might never have been a motion in parliament that makes more sense than The Local Electricity Bill does at the current moment. Led by Power For The People, the bill has cross-party support from over 300 MPs!
Again, Angela Richardson's name does not feature among those 300. You can encourage her to sign up to support the bill using Power To The People's handy 3-step guide.
3 Policies To Tackle Climate Change
It's an absolute no-brainer for every single MP of any political allegiance to support these 3 bills, and the reasons couldn't be clearer.
We need urgent and dramatic action to reduce carbon emissions whilst protecting the ecosystems which support life on earth. This isn't just about future generations or global south countries, the climate crisis is here, right now, and in the UK.
We need young people to understand the threats they face. They shouldn't be left with the mess of older generations, but they have the power to make a difference, through a combination of behavioural change, direct action, and lobbying.
We need to rapidly transition to clean energy, to help build local economies and reskill workers in pollution industries, to stop giving countries with oil & gas reserves free reign to abuse human rights and destroy democracy, and to ensure a rapid reduction in carbon emissions.
Each of these bills moves us a step closer to avoiding the worst of climate breakdown, and ensuring our livelihoods, communities, and families remain secure in the face of a changing planet.