General Election 4th July

In the narrow window of time remaining to avert dangerous climate tipping points, the next UK government must bring real solutions to move our economy off fossil fuels. It must invest to transform the economy for a cleaner, fairer future, and address the interlocking social crises this country faces.

The election announcement on 22 May was certainly memorable. As Rishi Sunak spoke in the rain, Things Can Only Get Better was played loudly in the background by protesters.

But - 'better' is not enough in a time of climate breakdown. We have had a year of unprecedented global temperatures, with climate disasters around the world, and climate scientists aghast by the world's failure, even now, to step away from fossil fuels.

Time to make your voice heard

It's always worth lobbying MPs - even if they may seem unresponsive, it gives them a sense of what their constituents care about. But it's actually much easier to get them to listen before they've even secured their seat in Parliament. The next government is expected to have a lot of first-time MPs. Before they get in, they need to hear that voters want action on the climate emergency.

There are lots of ways to do this: get on the streets, contact your candidates by email, join together with others in local groups to organise a climate hustings, or attend general hustings and ask a climate question, write to your local paper.

Restore Nature Now march, London, 22 June

Before the election was called, over 150 campaign groups and NGOs had already signed up to support this national demonstration to Restore Nature Now. Demands including no new fossil fuels and investment in climate action. This will be a great opportunity to create a visual statement of the general public demanding a safe future and liveable planet where people and nature can not just survive but thrive.

We'll be marching together with our friends on the climate justice bloc. If you're outside London, some coaches have been organised.

Writing to candidates

You can find out how to contact your election candidates on the Who Can I Vote For website.

Speaking out on the climate emergency, in whatever way, helps break the silence and raise awareness. Remember your ultimate aim is to convince someone who may be your MP for the next five years, not just to vent (totally understandable) frustration and anger at inaction! 

You might like to read this guidance from Hope for the Future about writing a letter that's more likely to be read.

A personal appeal - you can choose an angle that's personal to you, or that you think will resonate with the candidate you're writing to, whether that's climate jobs; fuel poverty and the need for home insulation, the impact of climate change and floods on UK farmers, the failure of our planning system which encourages mass expansion of roads and airports - or even just one of the recent news stories about the impacts of climate breakdown around the world or concerns for your children. 

Local insight - You can find information here about your own constituency - the proportion of people who consider climate change a high priority, who would support renewable energy projects in the local area, who are worried about energy bills or are in fuel poverty.

The big picture - As the planet heats up, the impacts of climate breakdown multiply, and we are running out of time. The UK is not on track to meet its climate commitments. The bottom line is that the next government must stop new fossil fuel extraction and damaging infrastructure like airport expansion and mass road-building. And massive investment in the infrastructure we do need - insulating homes, public transport, renewable energy, creating a workforce for the climate emergency. For example, Friends of the Earth estimates £50 billion a year or 2% of GDP - slightly less than is currently spent on defence to deliver lasting benefits. The UK also needs to pay its fair share of climate finance to countries facing the worst climate impacts to help them adapt and fund their own emissions reductions.

Find out more

Training on engaging candidates with Hope for the Future / Climate Coalition: Fri 7th June, 12.30-1.30pm and Wed 19th, 6.30-7.30pm - sign up here

Organising a local climate hustings

If you're in a local group or network, you could invite candidates to a community climate-related event for more informal discussion, and to build a relationship, or join with others to organise a hustings. 

A hustings is a panel discussion in the run-up to an election where all candidates are invited to debate policies and answer questions from the audience. They are a traditional feature of elections, and we now have the option of organising them online as well as person!

Check out these useful guides by Tipping Point and Friends of the Earth.

The Climate Coalition is assembling a map of local climate hustings - you can add your session here.

Tipping Point are also collating a map of hustings on climate and other social issues - register your hustings/event here