Vote for your MP only if they act on climate change

| 7th April 2010
Ask the climate question
NGO groups targeting marginal seats to pressure candidates into raising the profile of climate change in their election campaigns

Voters in the upcoming UK general election, on May 6th, are being urged to question prospective parliamentary candidates on their commitments to tackling climate change.

The campaign, 'Ask the Climate Question', which is being organised by a coalition of groups including WWF, Oxfam, Christian Aid, Greenpeace, RSPB Stop Climate Chaos Coalition and Green Alliance, will focus on marginal seats where more than one political party could easily win the seat.

Three climate questions proposed by the campaign to be put to political candidates are:

  • Will you commit to putting the UK on track to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020, through strong domestic action?
  • Will you commit to ensuring at least 15 per cent of all energy comes from renewables by 2020?
  • Will you commit to providing the UK's fair share of finance to the developing world in addition to existing commitments on overseas development aid?

'The aim of this campaign is to encourage everyone who is concerned about climate change to make their voices heard in the seats where the political parties are listening hardest,' said Paul Brannen from Christian Aid.

'We are not trying to influence how our supporters or the general public vote, we simply want to ensure candidates and parties take climate change seriously. Why? Because climate change is already killing some 300,000 people a year in developing countries, we have to act now,' he said.

There is reason to believe the campaign may be successful. In September 2009, research carried out by the thinktank IPPR found that one in five voters in marginal seats considered climate change to be amongst their top four priority issues. It also found that four out of five people supported the target to generate 15 per cent of our energy supplies from renewable sources by 2020.

The campaign is also asking voters to submit their own questions for others to rate. You can find out more by on the 'Ask the Climate Question' website, which also includes details on the marginal seats being targeted.

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