This year has seen numerous temperature records broken, wildfires, melting ice, unnatural disasters, human displacement and lives wrecked – our Earth is now ‘well outside safe operating space for humanity”. We are seeing volatility in the global food system as climate change wreaks havoc on food production across the world, putting almost a quarter of the UK shopping basket at risk.
On Friday 15th September, representatives of businesses from across the UK did the most quintessential British activity – forming a neat and orderly queue. However, this is a queue with a difference. The protest was organised by Business Declares and started at the St Pauls end of the millennium bridge, with the aim to influence all UK Political party manifestos and show business support for accelerated action for climate and nature ahead of UK party conferences.
To date the media often depicts climate campaigners as unemployed doomsayers bordering on fanatical. Yet highlighting the climate and nature crisis has never been more important to protect our children and leave future generations with a world that offers a kind of liveable future. This queue for nature challenged the media trope of climate activists – showing a powerful gathering of UK business people and professionals in the capital.
Why? We need our leaders to make the right choices easy and design out the bad choices affecting our climate and nature. This needs to happen in every element of society and our economy. Individually, there are many lifestyles choices we can choose to make a better planet. Unfortunately, lifestyle changes aren’t enough whilst we people and businesses are locked into a high-energy, high-consumption system and infrastructure that is destroying the very bedrock of civilisation. In the run up to the General Election – we queued to sign a letter that will go to all of the major parties – asking them to be leaders, not laggards. The letter asks for meaningly commitments to be made in manifestoes. The letter also asks for a robust regulatory framework to protect the natural world, as the UK is one of the most nature depleted countries in the world.
We also need every town, region and nation to invest in zero carbon and socially just, rapid transitions. We need a policy package that includes financial reform, and divestment away from planet harming technologies. Yet, since 2015, the UK government has given £20bn more in support to fossil fuel producers, than those operating in renewables.
With one-fifth of money given directly to fossil fuel industry to support new extraction and mining. This is despite the International Energy Agency said stating no new oil and gas projects can go ahead if we have any chance keeping emissions below cataclysmic levels of warming.
We were very proud to have been involved with the #Q4ClimateNature. We’re calling on all organisations to get involved and sign the open letter by Business Stand up and Business Declares – calling on all UK professionals (business people, business leaders, employees and members of professional bodies and civil society) to request that UK Political Party leaders accelerate action on climate and nature today.
Please sign the open letter Queue 4 Climate & Nature – OPEN LETTER – Please sign below ✍️ (google.com)