With more information and studies emerging, our society is beginning to understand the sheer scale of the climate crisis. Environmental and Climate campaigns have experienced a significant rise as more people voice their concerns and demand decisive action. A combination of activists, scientists, and academics are urging the UK government to implement a climate and ecological emergency bill specifically to target these areas safely and sustainably.

If passed, the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill would provide additional support towards selected measures within the Climate Change Act 2008, including new steps to enable the government to deliver a strategy that focuses on reaching ambitious goals for ecology, climate change, and biodiversity. 

To be successfully implemented and passed into law, however, the bill requires the support of a majority in Parliament. The associated measures have gained backing from several leading experts on climate, sustainability, ecology, law, and democracy, but will also need strong backing from members of the UK Parliament.

People are urging their governments to implement a climate and ecological emergency bill specifically to target these areas safely and sustainably. (Image for representation purpose only by Lewis Parson, unsplash.com)

The potential impact of the bill on ecological and climate action

Some analysts believe the bill could enhance climate collaboration across the world and make the UK the first developed nation to take on board the specific measure “common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities” as defined in the Paris Agreement. The bill could have the potential to trigger a broader climate plan, one that is more encompassing and balanced for all nations. It may be the ideal time for the UK to take a leading position with the country hosting the upcoming COP 26 negotiations next year.

The Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill utilises several measures based on reliable scientific findings, ensuring the UK can meet its climate targets by using accurate information. The bill includes the development of a citizens assembly, a random selection of people that would represent the diversity of our population. With expert advice, the Assembly would suggest the necessary measures for managing the crisis before proceeding to Parliament.

Supporters of the bill point out how the measures can facilitate a more effective and balanced transition towards net-zero. Industries with high emissions or ecological impact cannot continue at the current level. The bill would enable a more realistic move for individuals working in impacted industries by offering financial support and retraining programs. 

Environmental and ecological industry members believe the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill is a real opportunity to save more lives and livelihoods that are threatened by the impacts of both climate and ecological change. 

There has been a recent rise in protests and demonstrations supporting the implementation of the proposed measures and in response to the overall level of governmental action towards ecological and climate-related issues. While the climate emergency is gaining more attention, the ecological crisis has lacked a similar level of recognition. Environmental and Ecological supporters alike are urging the Government to follow the measures stated in the bill and ensure the UK does its fair share in terms of meeting emission reductions.

Growing recognition of our ecology

According to the ecological organisation, the Global Footprint Network, the pandemic has caused our ecological footprint to reduce. The implications of the Covid-19 related lockdown have resulted in the global ecological footprint contracting by nearly 10%. Many people have also emphasised how this challenging period has enabled individuals to reconnect and really appreciate their natural environment. This awareness and connection with nature have fuelled further action to enhance ecological measures to protect biodiversity.

People are now more aware of their relationship with the environment, and the challenges faced by ecosystems. (Image for representation purpose only by Roya Ann Miller, unslpash.com)

The challenges we face in relaunching our economies presents us with a complex but unique opportunity to create a future that we want. Sustainability requires a focus on ecological balance and our well-being over an extended period. This year has clearly shown the need for measures that increase are both sustainable and capable of increasing our resilience.

While public health and economic recovery will inevitably remain top priorities and in the spotlight for some time, our leaders need to take clear and decisive action towards tackling the existing and potential challenges our world is facing. By moving forward with the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill, our Government can incorporate both ecological and climate-related measures capable of delivering a more stable and secure future for our world.

The key objectives of implementing the climate and ecological emergency bill

The core objective of the proposed bill intends to ensure that the UK reduces its greenhouse gas emissions to a level that is consistent with maintaining the global average temperatures increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels. A secondary objective is to restore and regenerate biodiverse habitats, natural and human-altered ecosystems, and associated soils. The bill intends to expand existing natural ecosystems and further enhance agroecosystems for the protection of their carbon sink potential and resilience towards global heating. A final important objective of the bill is to implement active conservation measures for the biodiversity that protects ecosystem services and reduces the overall human impact on the range, volume, and health of our biodiversity and soils.

Matt is a UK-based content writer and marketing manager for businesses working in the environmental and energy sectors. After completing a Masters in Environmental Management, Matt worked in the conservation and sustainability industry and continues to work with a number of consultancies and organisations operating worldwide.