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Valentine's message with a difference for MPs

MPs and members of the House of Lords are being urged to show their love for the planet this Valentine’s Day by campaigners concerned that the UK Climate Change Bill currently being debated in Parliament is not tough enough to tackle global warming.

Every parliamentarian is to be wooed with the gift of a custom made packet of ‘Love Hearts’, from Christian Aid, Friends of the Earth and the World Development Movement.

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The sweets themselves bear old time messages such as ‘Cuddle Me’, ‘Little Kiss’ and ‘Let’s Dance’. The wrapping, however, highlights the demands being made by hundreds of thousands of UK citizens who have joined the campaign for a tougher Climate Change Bill.

Each packet carries the message: ‘Love Is…80% + aviation & shipping + annual milestones,’ reflecting the need for the proposed law to:

• cut carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 (the current target is 60 per cent)
• include the UK’s share of international aviation and shipping emissions
• include annual reduction `milestones' to ensure the government can be held to account

‘It’s a light-hearted way of drawing attention to a very serious situation’ says Paul Brannen, Christian Aid’s Head of Campaigning. ‘Prime Minister Gordon Brown has already committed the Government to 60 per cent emission cuts by 2050, and has said he would consider raising the figure to 80 per cent [1].

‘The Climate Change Bill is a prime opportunity to make that a reality. Vulnerable communities in poorer countries around the world are already feeling the impact of climate change through drought and flooding.

‘To keep temperature rises worldwide below 2°C and avoid widespread catastrophe, there have to be swingeing cuts in carbon emissions, and 60 per cent is not enough.’

Benedict Southworth, Director of the World Development Movement said: ‘We’re calling on MPs to show their love and commitment to the planet and the poor this Valentine’s Day. MPs must ensure that the government can’t ignore the fact that aviation already accounts for 13 per cent of the UK’s impact on climate change [2], and is our fastest growing source of emissions.

‘Poor countries have made little contribution to climate change but it is the poorest people who will be hit worst. The UK has a moral duty to ensure that it now takes responsibility for its past, present and future emissions. This means that the UK’s share of aviation emissions must be included in the Climate Change Bill targets to cut emissions, and plans to expand the aviation industry must be stopped.’

Friends of the Earth Director, Tony Juniper, said: ‘We all love to hear a card hit the mat on Valentine’s Day. We hope this will give the MPs a spring in their step and inspire them to feel the love for a stronger Climate Change law that includes aviation emissions. To ignore aviation emissions in the Climate Change law would be like setting a drink driving law that ignores the effects of whisky.’


[1] Speech. 19 Nov 2007. http://www.number10.gov.uk/output/Page13791.asp

[2] Prime Ministers Questions: 2 May 2007 Column 1671W

For more information, please contact:
Christian Aid: Andrew Hogg on +44 (0) 207 523 2058
Friends of the Earth: Tori Ray on +44 (0) 207 566 1649
World Development Movement: Kate Blagojevic on +44 (0) 20 7820 4913

Notes to the Editor

1) In 2005 Friends of the Earth launched The Big Ask campaign to urge the Government to deliver a tough Climate Change Bill that ensures Britain plays a leading role in developing a low-carbon future.
The campaign, which is supported by Christian Aid and the World Development Movement, has led the call for a UK Climate Change Bill, which will be the first national legislation anywhere in the world to set legally-binding targets for cutting carbon dioxide emissions. An 80% cut is essential to ensure the UK plays its part in keeping global temperatures from rising two degrees above pre-industrial levels - the temperature rise recognised by the EU as a `danger level' we should not breach.

2) Christian Aid, Friends of the Earth and the World Development Movement support I Count, the UK's largest campaign on climate change involving over 60 organisations and a supporter base of 4 million plus. I Count is showing the public and politicians that all our actions on climate change count. The campaign backs a Climate Change Bill with a carbon reduction target of 80% by 2050.  www.icount.org.uk