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Letter response from Sarah Teather MP, 24 June 2008

September 26, 2008

My wife and I live in northwest London. In June we moved to a different neighborhood and are now living under the jurisdiction of Brent council, represented by Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Teather. As soon as we’d settled in I read her profile on and wrote her a letter concerning the urgency of strengthening the Climate Change Bill. Regrettably I didn’t save a copy of my letter but this is her response:

RE: Climate Change Bill

Dear Mr. Mowshowitz,

Thank you for writing to me about strengthening the Climate Change Bill. I feel extremely strongly about this issue and have been doing all I can, both in Brent and in Westminster, to make sure that environmental issues are taken as seriously as the threat from global warming warrants.

The introduction of the Climate Change Bill by the government is a welcome step forward in tackling climate change, as it provides the groundwork for progress towards curbing our carbon emissions. As you are aware, however, there remain serious deficiencies with the Bill.

My Liberal Democrat colleagues and I strongly support Amendment 2, changing the figure for reductions from 60% to 80%. Scientific evidence suggests that even a target of a 60% cut in emissions is too low. Both Nicholas Stern and a recent United Nations report have concluded that the UK must make cuts of at least 80% by 2050 to avoid dangerous climate change. Our own ‘Zero Carbon Britain’ paper has proposed 100% emissions reduction by 2050.

Further, a recent National Audit Office (NAO) report shows that if the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions are measured on a comprehensive basis including items such as aviation, shipping and the contribution of UK residents’ greenhouse gas emissions overseas, CO2 emissions have not fallen since 1990. We therefore support Amendment NC1, which relates to international shipping and aviation.

Climate change is a serious and extremely urgent issue, and must be treated by government as such. I have previously signed Early Dad Motion 736, highlighting that the Bill is not ambitious enough in its measures to cut emissions. I will now be very willing to sign my name to these two amendments, which are vital to making the bill as effective as it must be to combat climate change.

Please rest assured that, together with my parliamentary colleagues, we will continue to do all that we can to ensure that the final bill is strong enough to provide a planet worth living on for our children and grandchildren.

Yours sincerely,

Sarah Teather MP

Liberal Democrat MP for Kilburn, Willesden Green, Welsh Harp, Dollis Hill, Dudden Hill, Mapesbury, Queen’s Park, Brondesbury and Kensal Rise

I was very impressed that response arrived so quickly (within less than two weeks), that she’d carefully addressed my concerns and had personally signed the letter. Her signatures of Eearly Day Motions 1019 (CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY PRODUCTION), 789 (ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE), 736 (CLIMATE CHANGE BILL) and 604 (PLANNING BILL AND CLIMATE CHANGE) demonstrate a clear committment to dealing with climate change. However, I have long felt that the issue of climate change tends to be isolated in politics and mainstream media as though it had no connection to the energy crisis, financial crisis and the general metaphysics of our world. I believe that climate change is singled out and treated as a smokescreen (forgive the pun) for equally important issues. This led me to my next letter to Sarah Teather which I did post on this blog on July 10th. You can read it below or visit this link:

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