Letter to NY MPs and county and district councillors in response to the latest IPCC report

Dear North Yorkshire MPs and District and County Councillors

Following the publication on 28 February 2022 of the latest report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) focusing on the impacts of climate breakdown, we are writing to all MPs and district and county councillors in North Yorkshire with a plea for more rapid and ambitious action to cut emissions at both national and regional level.

The main IPCC technical report is 3,675 pages long. Fortunately, a summary of the main points has been prepared by the highly regarded organisation Carbon Brief. As our elected representatives, we believe it is important that you are aware of the report’s findings so that you can make informed decisions on future decarbonisation plans.

The IPCC report is a harrowing and sobering read. It warns that any further delay in global action to slow climate change and adapt to its impacts “will miss a brief and rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a liveable and sustainable future for all”.

The UK government response to the report states:

“Today’s report shows that the impacts of climate change are already with us and will affect us more severely than previously thought, with the most vulnerable being hardest hit. Human health and livelihoods are being devastated, unique ecosystems are being irreparably damaged, and many species have become extinct.”

“Yet, despite a narrowing window for action, the report gives cause for hope. With a decisive and immediate response, bringing transformational adaptation together with rapid mitigation led by countries’ plans, we can create a climate resilient society, with benefits for all.”

“We all must respond to this report by collectively honouring the commitments made under the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement, delivering on the Glasgow Climate Pact now and through COP27 and beyond to ensure we can build a sustainable, climate resilient world.”

Against this background, and in light of the gap frequently highlighted by the Climate Change Committee and the Public Accounts Committee between UK government targets and delivery, we respectfully ask our MPs to call on government to translate its stated NDC goals (68% cut in GHG emissions by 2030) into immediate, ambitious and, most importantly, concrete actions (e.g. a nationwide domestic energy-efficiency programme).

In our own region of North Yorkshire, we urge district and county councillors to offer political and financial backing for the ambitious proposals set out in the draft Roadmap to Carbon Negative prepared by the York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership. The report contains many excellent proposals that – with your support – would put North Yorkshire on track towards a clean, green and high-skills economy powered by renewables.

Please note that we also plan to publish this response by North Yorkshire environmental and community groups to the IPCC report as an open letter in the press later this week.

Kind regards

Thirsk Friends of the Earth, David Tonge, Local Group Coordinator, thirskfoe@gmail.com

Ryedale Environmental Group, Joy Andrews, ryedaleEG@hotmail.com

Thirsk Churches Ecology Group, The Revd Canon Adrian Botwright, adrianbotwright@googlemail.com

CPRE North and East Yorkshire, Jan Arger, Chair, info@cprenorthyorkshire.co.uk

Zero Carbon Harrogate, Jemima Parker, Chair, jemima.zch@gmail.com

Climate Action Stokesley and Villages, Caryn Loftus, climateactionsav@gmail.com

Richmondshire Climate Action Partnership, Mike Sparrow, Deputy Chair, info@richmondshireclimateaction.org

Nidderdale Climate + Environment Group, Peter Wright, wrightpandh@gmail.com

Climate Action Northallerton, Sean Burleigh, northallertonclimateaction@gmail.com

Clapham Sustainability Group, Jill Buckler, jillbuckler@mac.com

Brandsby Women’s Institute, Aynsley Halligan, aynsleyh@btinternet.com