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Manchester Friends of the Earth reaction to record-shattering hottest day (and night) temperatures – Guardian

news release

Below is the full text of the comment from Manchester Friends of the Earth in reaction to the record-shattering temperatures recorded across Britain on 18th and 19th July.

“This is not just a ‘hot summer’. These are record-shattering extreme day and night temperatures. Emley Moor in West Yorkshire broke the record for the hottest night-time temperature last night; today has seen the closure of the East Coast trainline. There are the wildfires in Chesterfield, Doncaster and Saddleworth Moor, not forgetting the flash flooding in Cumbria, Greater Manchester and Yorkshire earlier this year. This is what climate breakdown looks like.

Each year the effects of climate breakdown are becoming more evident and more severe. Without meaningful intervention from Government and local councils, millions of Brits, particularly older people and young children, will be at increasing risk from health-threatening heatwaves like the one we’re experiencing as well as increased risk from flash flooding. People on the frontlines of the climate crisis in the UK and overseas are already being hit by its impacts, despite being the least responsible.

To prevent the most dangerous climate scenarios becoming a reality, all countries, including the UK, must make greater efforts to prevent runaway climate breakdown.

We need the government to support our local councils to take the urgent actions needed to reduce climate emissions by providing funding for climate adaptation programmes, such as planting street trees, creating a national retrofit programme to make our homes cooler in summer and warmer in winter, re-allocating road space for walking, cycling and public transport as well as rapidly increasing renewable energy production.”

Background

Global temperatures are already 1.1°C above pre-industrial levels. Under the Paris Agreement, governments have agreed to limit warming to 1.5°C to avoid catastrophic climate change.

According to estimates based on current climate pledges, the world is heading towards 2.4°C of warming, but these commitments are not being met. The UK government’s advisory body, the Committee on Climate Change, estimates that only 39% of the policies in its Net Zero Strategy are credible.

The Guardian included the opening paragraph in it’s “Global heating hits home up north as it sizzles along with UK south” article

On the 18th July, the High Court ruled that the UK government’s climate strategy is ‘unlawful’ and breaches the Climate Change Act.

The government will have to update its climate strategy to include a quantified account of how its policies will achieve climate targets, based on a realistic assessment of what it actually expects them to deliver. The updated strategy will have to be presented to parliament for scrutiny by MPs.

The refreshed plan should include sound policies that stand up to the scrutiny of the Climate Change Committee (CCC), which recently found that credible plans exist for just two fifths of the government’s required emissions reductions. The judgment strengthens the critical expert role of the committee by stating that their advice must be given “considerable weight”.

See also the national Friends of the Earth news releases:

UK temperature reaches 40C for the first time on record – Friends of the Earth reaction

Met Office issues Red warning for exceptional heat – Friends of the Earth reaction

Millions more older people and children at risk from dangerous summer temperatures if climate goals aren’t met

How local councils are acting on climate

Friends of the Earth have produced a series of local council case studies explore the impacts, benefits and resources needed to tackle climate change locally.

Please share with your local authority to galvanise change, from reducing landfill waste to protecting nature.

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