LYME Regis-based international environmental charity, The Word Forest Organisation, has launched a petition calling for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to broadcast a science-led Weekly Climate Address to the nation.
It is hoped a weekly address – similar to those broadcast throughout the coronavirus pandemic, but based on issues surrounding climate change – would keep the public informed on what the government is doing to tackle environmental issues in the long and short term.
A spokesperson from The Word Forest Organisation, which plants fast-growing trees near the equator in Kenya to tackle carbon emissions, said: “The past 18 months have proved the UK government is able to pivot in the wake of rapidly evolving news, from fluid situations, at short notice to produce frequent media broadcasts to address an existential crisis.
“It’s time to do the same for our other existential crisis: climate chaos from global heating.
“To best facilitate these broadcasts, The Word Forest Organisation suggests a new All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) be formed. It should invite participation in and contribution from independent climate scientists who should also feature in the weekly broadcasts, as per Professor Chris Witty and Professor Jonathan Van-Tam in respect of COVID-19.
“Further input should be sought from environmental NGOs and well informed climate action groups. They have first-hand experience on the best ways to avert unnecessary catastrophic events from taking place.”
The reforestation charity’s team suggests that the Weekly Climate Address could also be used to demonstrate how to get the nation to Net Zero more expediently, whilst also dealing with any problems the UK might face in the meantime: drought, interruptions to the food supply chain, forthcoming extreme weather, etc.
The Earth is now about 1.1°C warmer than it was in the 1800s and the charity says we are nowhere near meeting the targets set in the Paris Agreement in 2015, which were designed to prevent global temperatures from exceeding 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
The Word Forest Organisation’s patron, meteorologist Clare Nasir, and special scientific advisor Professor Bill McGuire, have both support offered their support for the #WeeklyClimateAddress campaign.
They are featured, along with other climate concerned individuals, in a powerful poem written by the charity’s CEO and co-founder Tracey West, to Boris Johnson urging him to put the broadcast in place.
The charity is hoping to garner support from environmentalists from all walks of life, corporations, other charities and environmental groups. It has already received more than 500 signatures on an online petition.
The results from the petition will be presented to the government during COP26 which is set to take place in Glasgow in November 2021.
They say that, ahead of the conference, and to show true UK climate leadership, the government needs to convey with great urgency the assistance they’re putting in place to help individuals, corporations and councils, enabling them to take immediate action to mitigate climate chaos.
Tracey West commented: “The climate crisis is wreaking havoc across our planet.
“All countries, bodies of water, humans and wildlife are interdependent upon the wellbeing of each other. With increased frequency and ferocity, they continue to be gripped by extreme weather events and the related chaotic fallout: examples include extreme rainfall or glacier melt leading to flooding and landslides.
“The UK government must now show leadership and take action today. Please support our petition by signing and sharing it, for all of our sakes.”
You can support the online petition by clicking here.