I.P.C.C Report

Last week the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN’s climate change advisory body, released its latest report into climate change, its impacts, and how to mitigate it. The report concludes that the world has not run out of options to tackle climate change, but it does paint a stark and, at times, scary picture of the consequences of leaving emissions unchecked.

The report was commissioned back in 2015 as part of the landmark Paris Agreement. It is the product of three years of research and brings together the findings of three working groups focusing:

  • The science of climate change

  • The impacts on the world

  • The policy options available to us

The report’s main headline is that the world is currently completely off track in our attempts to tackle climate change and keep warming within 1.5°C of pre-industrial levels. Indeed, we are heading towards 3°C of warming and could reach 1.5°C as soon as 2030.

However, perhaps the most interesting part of this report is how it compares 1.5°C of warming with 2°C. It finds that 1.5°C has “clear benefits to people and natural ecosystems” when compared with 2°C. For example, at 1.5°C global sea level rises would be 10cm lower by 2100 than at 2°C of warming. This could save the homes of millions of people who inhabit islands and coastal regions around the globe. Furthermore, heat related deaths, the loss of coral, food scarcity, water shortages, forest fires and ocean acidification would all be considerably less severe at 1.5°C.

So, what can you do to respond to the IPCC report? Well, insulating your home, walking or cycling instead of using your car, installing solar panels on your home, and consuming less meat and dairy are all examples of individual actions you can take that will have an impact. But the report says that we need “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” so we will need to see change at a larger scale as well. The world needs to almost half its carbon emissions by 2030 and have net emissions of zero by 2050. That will require drastic changes to our businesses, energy systems, transport, buildings and infrastructure.

Such changes can only be brought about through collective action led by governments which leaves us relying on our politicians to take action. There is too much at stake to sit back and blame politicians when things go wrong. We must take an active role in encouraging politicians to make the courageous decisions needed to tackle climate change.

This report shows that it is still possible to keep global warming within 1.5°C, but the window for action is closing fast. If we’re to tackle climate change, politicians and citizens need to act now. That is why it’s vital that you meet with your MP.

Hope for the Future, specialists in climate lobbying training, can support you to meet with your MP. You don’t need to have any previous campaigning experience, or a great knowledge of climate change. We can provide you with training, research and support with your MP meeting to discuss the concerns raised in this report, and we would be delighted to help.

Net-zero, New Builds and Neckties: Meeting with Jeremy Quin, MP for Horsham

(Left to right), Sarah Robinson, Jeremy Quin and Carrie Cort met to talk about the Government’s commitments to net zero emissions and the local work going on in Horsham.

(Left to right), Sarah Robinson, Jeremy Quin and Carrie Cort met to talk about the Government’s commitments to net zero emissions and the local work going on in Horsham.

I received an email on Tuesday with details of a last minute constituency meeting with Jeremy Quin MP. Of course, I jumped at the chance to accompany for the meeting because, well, we exist to support constituents in these meetings and to help them get the best out of their MP in that short amount of time. What’s more, each MP meeting contributes to our approach of what makes for effective climate campaigning. This meeting was no exception, I learned so much and it was a real inspiration to hear about the fantastic work going on in Horsham and the surrounding areas. 

Carrie Cort was the constituent who invited me, and we were joined by Jenny Edwards who, along with Carrie and others from the area, were trained to be Climate Reality Leaders by Al Gore. The group had met Jeremy Quin recently at a Share Fair in the local area where Carrie, her son and husband had presented Jeremy with the net zero letter from Simon Clarke MP, asking him to add his signature in support. Jeremy recently became a junior minister in Government as Assistant Whip. Due to this new role he felt that signing would go against the ministerial code (ministers are not allowed to do certain things that other MPs can do such as sign EDMs or submit written questions), so in the meeting we asked him in what ways he could support the letter. Jeremy is very new to the role so was unsure of what exactly he would be able to do, but said that he would write to Claire Perry MP to alert her to the contents of the letter – which we felt was an excellent outcome. 

We spoke with Jeremy about solar in the UK, including the viability of installing solar panels on all new buildings and whether schools with solar panels receive an exemption from the recent increase in solar taxation. He was particularly interested to hear about the Solar Power for Schools project in West Sussex which has a £2.99m budget to install solar power in schools before March 2019. You can read more about solar energy here.

Where Jeremy’s interest was really sparked was talking about the fantastic work Carrie and her group are doing locally. Carrie runs a Repair Cafe which offers a free monthly repair service for broken and worn out items, encouraging a culture of ‘remake, repair and reuse’. The cafe was opened in October 2017 by Jeremy himself. Carrie says “I am known locally for my collection of clothes made out of neckties, conveying the message about reuse”. In fact, in 2016 Carrie won the Guinness World Record for the person wearing the most neckties and currently holds the record at 270! Jeremy Quin was one of the official Guinness World Record judges - the first time he came across Carrie and her environmental work.

At the repair cafe, they also offer energy cost comparison and switching to 100% clean and renewable energy. In the meeting with Jeremy, Carrie told a story of a local lady, a 2-bedroom flat owner in Horsham, whom she had helped to save £100 per year by switching to a renewable energy provider. The lady had been owed over £1,000 by her previous provider so was in tears at the news that the new provider would be able to sort her repayment. Jeremy, unaware that it was even possible to purchase renewably sourced energy through the national grid, showed great interest in this story, and promised to attend the Repair Cafe’s first birthday in October. 

Towards the end of this productive meeting, having built a great rapport with Jeremy, he shocked us by casting doubt over whether the extreme weather events the world has been facing recently is due to climate change or some other explanation such as sunspots. The three of us present at the meeting simply raised our eyebrows and moved the conversation along. But the comment was a stark reminder of the need to continue engaging, informing and encouraging our political leaders on climate action. Jeremy is lucky to have Carrie, Jenny and the rest of their group as dedicated constituents who will continue great work in Horsham, keeping him updated with news and progress. Jeremy will learn more and more about the issue, building in knowledge and confidence until he is able to have nuanced, informed debates and make constructive decisions around the topic of climate change. 

“While it may seem small, the ripple effect of small things is extraordinary”
— Matt Bevin

HFTF Summer BBQ Fundraiser

Just as we approached the final few days of summer, Jo and Greg, Hope for the Future’s Director and her husband, organised a BBQ to raise money for the charity. It was an afternoon to remember with brilliant food and company, an entertaining auction and the chance to learn more about the work of the charity.

“Seeing Hope for the Future grow from a small cluster of Yorkshire churches to a national organisation training over a thousand people each year has been an amazing experience. We held the BBQ in our allotment on the edge of the Peak District to provide a space where people could enjoy the natural environment whilst doing something to benefit it. There is still a very low awareness about climate change in Parliament and beyond, so we were so grateful to everyone who turned out to raise £400 for the work. Hope for the Future's work to equip NGOs, local groups and individuals around the UK to more effectively communicate climate change with politicians is something our friends, family and local community were really glad to support” 

- Our Director Jo and her husband Greg reflect on the fundraiser

None of the brilliant work that Hope for the Future does could be done without the generosity of those that have supported us over the last five years. As Hope for the Future continues to grow we need to grow to maintain our capacity to support constituents and offer training to all those who will benefit from it.  

We’re really pleased to welcome Sarah Buck as our new fundraiser. Sarah would like to encourage anyone who has been feeling inspired and would like to fundraise for Hope for the Future, to get in touch at: sarahbuck.hopeftf@gmail.com.

Sarah is originally from a small town called Oswaldtwistle (home of the world's largest pear drop!) but Sheffield is currently home. She has been a fundraiser for a number of organisations, from big ones like Christian Aid, to small ones like the Genesis Trust and Clifton Park Museum. She currently works part time for a brilliant international development charity and is really excited to be joining Hope for the Future as their new fundraiser for one day a week. When Sarah is not busy fundraising, she loves to walk, camp, bake and craft.

Hope for the Future Looks Back - And Thinks Ahead

Hope for the Future Looks Back - And Thinks Ahead

Five years ago, a small group of friends who attended the same church, decided that something must be done about climate change – and that that something must be influencing politicians to take action.  From this initial conviction came the idea of helping others to challenge our elected representatives on what is surely the most urgent problem facing the world.  After four years of hard, voluntary work, testing out our ideas on how that might be done, we finally became a registered charity in the summer of 2017.  Since then, our small team of paid staff and our much larger group of volunteers have become recognised as leaders in the field of training citizens to petition their MPs and councillors about the dangers of global warming. 

Meet your MP about Community Energy this Community Energy Fortnight

Meet your MP about Community Energy this Community Energy Fortnight

With Community Energy Fortnight approaching, why not choose community energy as one specific issue to approach your MP about? Community energy involves small-scale renewable energy projects, where citizens come together, take control and reap benefits from their energy.  The many benefits of community energy can make it easier to find common ground with your MP over an area of shared interest. For example, if your MP’s main concern is lowering energy prices for their constituents, you can highlight how community energy can help with this. 

Talking Zero Carbon

Talking Zero Carbon

In April 2018, Claire Perry MP, the Minister for Clean Growth and Energy announced that the government will call on the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) to lay out a route for tighter carbon controls, in a move towards a net zero emissions target. Net zero refers to the balancing of emissions produced and emissions sequestered or offset, so that overall zero emissions are emitted. A zero emissions target would be a positive step towards meeting the 1.5 degree target, as well as showing ambition from the government.