Ask your MP or Councillor these questions

Are you willing to ask our representatives Climate Crisis questions? Their answers will help the XR Luton Political Group understand their views, helping us shape our actions going forward.

We’d like you to contact current and potential MPs and Councillors – find your Ward Councillors here.

Let Helena know by email ( xrluton@gmail.com ) of your plans (to help avoid double-ups), then pass on their responses by Thursday 5th December.

We will review all responses, then put forward proposals at the Luton Council Citizens Assembly on the Climate Crisis meeting, to be held on 11th December.

Thank you all – together we are making huge strides for our planet.

Five Main Questions

  1. Do you believe that we are experiencing a climate crisis?

If YES:

  • What do you believe politicians and others in positions of power should do about it?
  • What are you personally planning to do about it?
  • Do you believe that environmental groups such as XR, Friends of the Earth etc are doing the right thing by trying to raise people’s awareness of the current crisis?

If NO:

  • What are your reasons for believing we are not in a climate crisis?
  • Have you read the IPCC* report?
  • What do you make of its findings?
  • What do you attribute the changes in climate to?

*The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change. It was created to provide policymakers with regular scientific assessments on climate change, its implications and potential future risks, as well as to put forward adaptation and mitigations options. They believe that there is a climate crisis which will adversely impact all life on Earth if not addressed with urgency.

2. Do you believe that we should stop airport expansion?

  • With reference to question 1, how can you reconcile airport expansion with dealing with a climate crisis?
  • Would you support frequent flyer and executive jet levies as well as stopping expansion?
  • What else can you do to help make aviation “greener”?

3. Luton has high levels of air pollution, what can you do to improve the situation?

Notes: In Luton, 86 deaths were attributed to particulate air pollution per annum with 1,004 associated life-years lost. (Public Health England, quoted by Luton Borough Council, Air Quality Action Plan).

4. Should the UK government stop funding investments in fossil fuels?

  • Government policy is to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. How can this be done while using taxpayers’ money to fund fossil fuel projects?

Notes: The government’s official climate adviser, the committee on climate change, warned that “export finance is not aligned with climate goals, and often supports high-carbon investments”. You don’t solve a crisis by simply moving it somewhere else to make your own numbers look good.”(Quote: Mike Childs of Friends of the Earth).

In a letter (dated 15th August 2019) Liz Truss, the Secretary of State for International Trade, rejected a cross-party recommendation by parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee to rule out the UK financing fossil fuel projects by the end of 2021. Global Witness research has found that in 2010-16, UKEF (UK Export Finance) supported £4.8 billion in fossil fuel projects, whilst in a similar period, the UK spent £4.9 billion on climate aid via its International Climate Fund, meaning UKEF effectively cancels out the climate aid work of other government departments.

According to the head of the International Energy Agency, the world cannot build any new fossil fuel infrastructure, anywhere, in order to meet he Paris Agreement goal of holding global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. (Global Witness press release Oct 1, 2019)

5. Parliament keeps all voting records, do you support the same transparency for local authorities, and if not, why?

  • Hansard keeps records of all Divisions (MP’s voting records), so why do some local authorities, including Luton Borough Council, not do the same?

Notes: Without records, councillors are able to tell the public that they support a particular issue, but then can vote against it with little fear of this being disclosed.

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