Friends of the Earth is urging Boris Johnson to put responding to the climate emergency at the heart of his new government after the Met Office confirmed the UK’s maximum temperature record for July has been broken.
Friends of the Earth chief executive, Craig Bennett said: “The dangerous heatwave battering Britain is a stark warning to Boris Johnson on the urgent need to end the country’s reliance on climate-wrecking fossil fuels.
“Developing the UK’s vast renewable power potential, insulating our heat-leaking homes and investing in modern, carbon-free transport systems would slash emissions, create thousands of new jobs and put the UK at the forefront of building a cleaner, safer future."
Bennett continued: “The first hundred days are crucial – will the new Prime Minister take decisive action to deal with the climate emergency, or dish up more hot air?”
Alongside cutting emissions in the first place, Friends of the Earth is calling for doubled tree cover to protect people from the impact of extreme weather such as heatwaves and to help absorb carbon from the atmosphere.
Friends of the Earth wants decisive action to address the climate emergency in the first 100 days of the new Johnson administration including passing an emergency climate budget in the Autumn which must allocate billions of pounds of investment in areas like public transport, creating warm homes and planting millions of trees:
By the end of 2020 Friends of the Earth wants commitments on:
• Transport: Invest in brilliant and cheap public transport, cycling and walking everywhere. New petrol and diesel cars shouldn’t even be for sale within the decade.
• Power: Start aiming for 100% clean energy from the wind, sun and sea. Electricity can’t come from dirty fuels anymore and fracking should be banned.
• Buildings: Fund a massive insulation scheme and shift to eco-friendly heating – this will end the misery of cold, expensive-to-heat homes.
• Agriculture and land use: Double tree cover and let wildlife thrive - our land is too precious to be given over to intensive farming.
• Infrastructure: Start making climate change a deal-breaker in all spending decisions. That means projects that fuel climate change, like airport expansion, can’t go ahead.
• International justice: It’s time the UK paid its fair share to support more vulnerable countries to cut carbon pollution and deal with the impacts of climate change.
Marianne Brooker is The Ecologist's content editor. This article is based on press release from Friends of the Earth.
Image: Mark Ramsay, Flickr.