Soaring temperatures have left Sussex residents sweltering after an extreme heat warning raised the question whether this week has been the hottest on record in the region and what we should be doing to tackle climate change.
The national emergency came only a day after Sussex Green Living’s CEO Carrie Cort, her son and the charity’s Youth Eco Forum leader Tash Barns joined ‘Zero Hour’, a coalition of UK campaigners, world-leading scientists, academics and members of the public in Victoria Tower Garden next to the House of Lords in Westminster.
Zero Hour and a group of youth campaigners handed-in an open letter calling on all Members of the House of Lords to progress the Climate and Ecology Bill and help it on its way to becoming a new law.
The Climate and Ecology Bill was presented by Caroline Lucas as a Private Members Bill (Presentation Bill) on 2 September 2020. The Bill would require the Secretary of State to implement a strategy to achieve climate and nature targets for the United Kingdom. Following the first reading in the House of Lords on 25th May 2021, the Bill’s second reading took place on 15th July presented by Lord Redesdale. It is expected to be ‘handed over’ to the House of Commons in early 2023.
Extreme Climate Events
The extreme climatic events currently taking place around the world prove how urgently this Climate and Ecology Bill is needed. About 50,000 Sydney residents have been urged to evacuate their homes as floods hit Australia’s largest city for the third time this year. Wildfires are burning in France, Spain, Portugal and the US and even here in the UK where 40,000 square metres of Sherwood Forest were recently destroyed.
There is unequivocal evidence that human activities are causing climate change and contributing to increasingly extreme temperatures, heavy rainfall events, and rising sea levels around the world. In August last year the UN Secretary-General António Guterres presented the UN landmark climate report which said it is a ‘code red’ for humanity. Only one year on the world is experiencing record temperatures.
The hottest temperature ever recorded was in the city of Jacobabad in Pakistan on May 14, 2022, when temperatures hit 51 degrees Celsius (124 Fahrenheit). Closer to home, the Met Office has predicted temperatures that are likely to smash the UK heat record with 40C in London this week (the current record is 38.7C).
We have reached a tipping point. Global warming will be irreversible if Governments around the World don’t act. There is still time if we use solutions that are already available to us now.
How You Can Take Action
- Put into practice Sussex Green Living’s R words: rethink, refuse, reduce, refill, repair, recycle, repurpose and renewable energy.
- Find a local environmental group, learn, take action and encourage others to join you (look at South East Climate Alliance for groups in the South East).
- Visit out Sussex Green Hub on the last Saturday of each month in Horsham, where people can get items repaired, bottles refilled, recycling advice, free food from the Horsham Community Fridge, carbon reduction advice and much more.