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Posts Tagged ‘Environment’

24 hours to save the bees?

March 14th, 2013 by

Our bees are dying, but the environment minister is turning his back on them.  Tomorrow, there’s an important vote in Europe, which could stop the use of the pesticides that scientists think are responsible for killing our bees. But Owen Paterson, the environment minister, is planning on scuppering the plans.

If Owen gets bombarded by calls from his fellow MPs today and tomorrow morning, we can persuade him to change his mind and back the vote to protect our bees.

Click here to write to your MP and ask them to contact Owen Paterson as soon as possible and ask him to vote to suspend the use of the pesticides.

Throwing caution to the wind, Owen Paterson is ignoring the steps that France, Italy and other European countries are taking to ban these harmful pesticides. The UK government are siding with the powerful pesticide companies, and waiting for more and more tests before making a decision. But by then it it could be too late for our bees.

38 Degrees members have been fighting hard to protect our bees.  We’ve already handed in a big petition to Owen Paterson and written to our MPs about new research. Let’s kick up a storm, and make sure that Owen Paterson’s phone is ringing off the hook, so that he realises thousands of us want him to vote the right way and protect our bees.

Please write to your MP and ask them to phone Owen Paterson straight away.

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Save the Bees!

October 17th, 2012 by

British bees are in danger. Three species of bees are already extinct and others are in rapid decline. Strong evidence points to particular pesticides being to blame for killing them. This week we have a chance to persuade the government to protect our bees and ban these harmful pesticides.

A government consultation on pesticide use ends next Monday. Normally the only people they would hear from would be the strong pesticide industry. But by handing in a large petition, we can make sure that the bees have someone to stand up for them.

Can you sign a petition now to demand the government phase out the pesticides that are killing our bees?

France and several other European countries have already started banning these pesticides, but the UK government is yet to be convinced. Together, by responding in our thousands, we can send a strong message to the government and counter the lobbying from the pesticide industry.

Last week thousands of 38 Degrees members responded to a poll on what we should be concentrating on together. Over 70% of responses highlighted that protecting bees was an important issue. This week is our chance to do something about it.

Could you take a minute to sign the petition now and help save our bees?

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Lib Dems vote for tougher climate action!

September 25th, 2012 by

Great news! After hand delivering hundreds of copies of our climate change petition on Monday morning, the Lib Dems voted strongly in favour of tougher climate action, including backing a 2030 target for carbon-free electricity. It’s a great start, but together we need to keep up the pressure to make sure that George Osborne doesn’t block these new targets.

See below to read more about our petition hand-in at the Lib Dem conference!

On Sunday evening the 38 Degrees team boxed up the 32,000-strong climate change petition and travelled down to ‘sunny’ Brighton to hand in our people powered message to the Lib Dem party.

We hand delivered our huge petition straight to the Climate Secretary Ed Davey, calling on the Lib Dems to take a stand on a climate change and back the motion to get carbon emissions under control by 2030.

David delivering over 32,000 signatures to Climate Secretary Ed Davey

He responded positively to the vast number of signatures supporting tougher climate action. The same day he called on the members of his party to back the vote the next morning and support the 2030 target!

On the day of the climate vote we teamed up with local 38 Degrees members to deliver our people powered  message to the rest of the Lib Dem party.

We were up bright and early in the pouring rain to try and catch voting Lib Dems before they went in to the conference. Due to tough security there was only one main entrance to the conference centre – so we made sure that the 38 Degrees message was the last thing Lib Dems heard before they went in to make their decision.

Armed with our ‘Vote Yes’ flyers we delivered the 38 Degrees message to hundreds of Lib Dem members who passed through our climate change gateway to get inside the conference.

Many Lib Dems responded encouragingly to the thousands who signed the petition urging them to get serious on tackling climate change.

Despite the soggy leaflets and broken umbrellas the team felt confident that our huge climate petition could spur the Lib Dems to vote the right way!

Local 38 Degrees members brave the weather to deliver our climate message to Lib Dems in Brighton

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Will the Lib Dems stop George Osborne?

September 19th, 2012 by

There’s a tug of war going on in government over our climate targets. George Osborne is trying to wreck plans for getting carbon emissions under control. But this week, there’s a real chance we could stop him getting his way.

At the weekend, Lib Dems will travelling to Brighton to meet for their conference. They’ll be voting on plans for the next year – and that includes deciding whether to back tougher climate rules that could stop Osborne’s plans in their tracks.

Lib Dems will be under pressure not to back the tougher rules. Many party leaders won’t want another row with Conservatives in the government. But if they know there are thousands of us backing them to stay strong on climate, they’re much more likely to make a stand.

Can you add your name to the petition now?

To make sure every Lib Dem at the conference knows we want them to stop Osborne’s dangerous climate plans, 38 Degrees members will take our petition right to their door. They’ll be handing a copy to everyone who goes into the conference before the vote, and delivering one to Ed Davey, the climate minister, too.

There’s only one entrance – so our people-powered petition will be hard to ignore. That means most people in conference will have seen our message: Lib Dems – take a stand on climate change.

The vote is a few day away and people will making up their minds now, so we need to move fast. Let’s make this petition as big as possible before it’s delivered to the Lib Dems.

We know that when it comes to convincing politicians to do the right thing, people power works. From stopping the forest sell-off to convincing David Cameron to accept climate targets, 38 Degrees members have played a big role in protecting our planet.

So let’s get together in our thousands and let Lib Dems know we won’t stand for Osborne tearing up climate targets. With a flood of signatures telling them to take a stand, we can make sure the vote swings the right way.

Do you live near Brighton? Would you like to come along with other 38 Degrees members to deliver our climate message? If you are interested in getting involved please get in touch at emailtheteam@38degrees.org.uk and the team can get back to you with some details!

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Climate bust-up: What’s it all about?

August 3rd, 2012 by

Richard George, Greenpeace UK

Over the past two weeks, a row has been raging about the government’s efforts to tackle climate change. Richard George, Climate Campaigner with Greenpeace UK, has written a guest blog for 38 Degrees members as an update on what this row is all about. Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Right now, the government is drafting a new law – the Energy Bill – that will decide what the future of our energy supply looks like. This could be a big chance to invest in clean, renewable energy. But Chancellor George Osborne and the Treasury have been interfering.

As it stands, the Energy Bill would encourage a disastrous ‘dash for gas’ that would push up energy bills and threaten our climate. Nick Clegg and the Secretary of State for Energy, Ed Davey, need to stand up to George Osborne and clean up the Energy Bill.

Osborne’s dangerous demands include building more gas-fired power stations. Gas is expensive and is the main reason why energy bills are rising. Meanwhile, the cost of renewable electricity is falling fast as companies develop more innovative ways to harness the energy of wind, waves and the sun. If you wanted to protect households and businesses from rising fuel bills, you’d prioritise energy saving and renewable electricity.

Gas isn’t just costly – it would make it nearly impossible to get the UK’s emissions under control. Although gas is less polluting than coal, it is a lot more polluting than wind, wave and solar electricity. David Kennedy, the head of the Committee on Climate Change (the independent organisation set up by the government to advise them on how best to tackle climate change) says that building loads more gas plants “would be incompatible with the government’s climate change goals.

George Osborne’s obsession with gas would be a disaster for our economy and our climate. Instead of listening to Osborne, the government must commit to cleaning up our electricity supply by 2030.

The Committee on Climate Change says that’s exactly what needs to happen if we’re to reduce the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions and help stop climate change. Last week, a key group of MPs recommended that a legally-binding target to ‘decarbonise’ electricity should be included in the Energy Bill. The Confederation of British Industry has also called for a target so that businesses have the confidence to invest and grow the green economy.

We can’t stand by whilst George Osborne wrecks our energy supply and our climate – someone needs to step in.

38 Degrees members can help play a big role making sure that the government chooses the right path and commits to emission-free electricity by 2030. If enough of us email Nick Clegg we can make sure he steps in and stands up to George Osborne.

Richard George is a climate campaigner with Greenpeace UK

Thanks Richard! What do you think? What else could we be doing together on energy and climate change? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Climate bust-up

August 1st, 2012 by

Right now, there’s a big political fight raging about the government’s plans on climate change. George Osborne is trying to tear up vital climate targets. Unless someone stops him, he could make it almost impossible for the UK to play our part in tackling climate change.

Nick Clegg could speak up and stop this happening. He’s made countless public commitments on climate. And he’s the only Lib Dem who might have enough power to block George Osborne. Together, we need to convince him to act.

So let’s move fast, and flood Nick Clegg’s office with messages telling him to do the right thing. We can prove that thousands of us want him to stand up to George Osborne and hold firm on tackling climate change.

New businesses have been waiting years for the government’s green light to fund more jobs and cleaner, safer energy. Now, they could be sidelined by George Osborne’s demand to fund more polluting gas plants. The decision could go either way – but if enough of us back Nick Clegg, we can make sure the government makes the right choice for future generations.

Since 38 Degrees started, we’ve been telling politicians to protect our climate. Back in 2009, 1000 38 Degrees members had a conference call with Ed Miliband to tell him we wanted real progress at the Copenhagen climate summit. And just last week, we emailed MPs on the climate change committee and persuaded them to speak out about the latest government plans.

So far, our pressure has paid off. So now let’s do the same again to stop George Osborne tearing up our climate targets.

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Hurray! Now what next?

July 26th, 2012 by

Asda, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Adidas, VISA… In the last couple of weeks we’ve taken on some of the most powerful companies in the world – and won! Our petition to Asda helped pressure them to increase the price they pay farmers for their milk. And together, we’ve forced them to pay their fair share of tax during the Olympics. All of the companies we targeted have now said they won’t be using the tax break open to Olympic sponsors. Read the 14 statements here.

This campaign was something new. 38 Degrees members are used to taking on the government. But this was the first time we’ve targeted big global companies. We knocked them over one by one, gaining strength with each fresh victory.

This win is more proof that when we work together, we get results. That’s why as 38 Degrees members we choose what we campaign on together. Member polls are an important part of deciding what we should focus on next. Should we concentrate on protecting the NHS and the environment? Should we be cracking down on bankers? Perhaps you have an idea of your own?

Can you take the two minute survey and help set the direction of 38 Degrees?

When 38 Degrees members first saw the tax breaks for Olympic sponsors, exposed in a piece by the magazine Ethical Consumer, it may have seemed unlikely that these heavyweight multinationals could be forced to back down. But we were successful because we used our power as customers. The same strategy worked on Asda.

The sponsors were hoping to get a big boost from their involvement with the Games. But our huge petition and the flood of activity on Facebook and Twitter had them worried. They could see it was safer to back down on the tax break than to risk a PR disaster with the very people who buy their products.

Fixing this particular tax dodge is a step in the right direction and a glimpse of what we can do – but there’s so much more to do. Recent reports suggest that the UK could be losing trillions of pounds in dodged tax every year. Should we follow up our Olympic success by keeping the focus on tax-dodging or should we be prioritising other campaigns? Perhaps we should be concentrating on tackling climate change, stopping the privatisation of the police, or protecting the BBC. Or is there something else you’d like to suggest?

Take the quick survey and help decide what we should work on next together.

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Update – Climate change: can Cameron stand strong?

April 27th, 2012 by

David Cameron

Darren Shirley, Campaign Manager for Climate and Energy at World Wide Fund for Nature UK (WWF) has written a blog for 38 Degrees members,  as an update on David Cameron’s Cameron’s green speech Please share your thoughts and comments in the comments below.

“Almost six years ago to the day, WWF took David Cameron to Svalbard in the Arctic to see the impacts of climate change first hand, including a trip to the Scott Turner glacier. The trip was to be a turning point for Cameron and his party. At the time he said: “I believe that tackling climate change is a key part of my ambition for the Conservative Party to lead a new green revolution”.

The message from Cameron was clear: the Conservatives had changed; a commitment to tackling environmental problems was at the core of what he wanted to do. Pictures of him hugging a husky came to be seen as a symbolic moment in the detoxification of the party’s brand. They were no longer the ‘nasty party’.

With David Cameron having been in Downing Street for nearly two years, it was widely touted that this week he would make his first green speech since becoming PM. With ministers from around the world in London for the third Clean Energy Ministerial this was an opportunity for Cameron to live up to those promises from the days in opposition and take the lead on a global stage.

Over 15,000 supporters of 38 Degrees, and charities such as WWF and RSPB, joined forces to call on Cameron to make explicit his support on the EU increasing its ambition for reducing carbon emissions, as part of a package for decarbonising the UK and EU, and moving towards a clean energy system based on renewables.

News started seeping out on Twitter early in the week that the speech wasn’t going to happen. It became clear that Cameron had downgraded the speech. In the end, he gave a few remarks to a roundtable of Ministers. It wasn’t the strong speech or ‘major policy intervention’ that had been expected. With the spotlight on the government’s record on tackling climate change and promoting renewable energy, what we ended up with was deeply worrying and more of a damp squib than a keynote speech.

Given the PM has often seemed reluctant to intervene in an increasingly negative debate among members of the cabinet and his backbenchers (over 100 Conservative backbenchers wrote to him attacking wind power, and recent comments from other ministers have suggested that Britain does not need any more onshore wind farms) the lack of a proper speech is not a good signal on his support for an important part of the UK economy – an area that has the potential for massive growth and job creation.

The mixed messages from government of late is hitting business and investor confidence at a time when we need them to be investing in the UK’s much needed transition to renewable energy whilst cutting carbon emissions.

Given David Cameron’s personal commitment to lead the “greenest government ever” we believe his green speech is overdue. We need David Cameron to take control of his party, Cabinet, and government on climate change and energy. It’s time he showed leadership to the country that will give businesses the confidence to invest in the future of energy and cutting carbon.”

Darren Shirley, Campaign Manager (Climate & Energy), WWF UK


Thanks Darren!

What do you think? What should we do next? Should we make Cameron stand up and lead on climate change and energy?


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Climate Change: Can Cameron stand strong?

April 17th, 2012 by

Photograph by Bruno D Rodrigues (Flickr)

“David Cameron has a key role in making sure there are EU targets to reduce emissions by 30% by 2020. Now 38 Degrees members have a vital role in ensuring David Cameron shows his support in his green speech on 26th April.” Melanie Coath, RSPB

Right now, behind the scenes in Europe, big decisions are being made about climate change. Experts say what’s needed are targets to reduce emissions by at least 30%.  But some European leaders are starting to lose their nerve.

David Cameron has a key role to play. But at just the time we need him to stand strong, he is losing the support of his own top conservative ministers on tackling climate change.

Cameron knows that his support for a 30% target is crucial. Without it, other leaders may use his silence as an excuse to drop out of the Europe-wide climate effort.

Together we can convince Cameron to stand strong and back 30% climate targets in his key speech on 26th April. Thousands of messages from 38 Degrees members will prove that whatever his ministers are saying, that the public want real progress on climate change. Click here to get started.

If Europe is allowed to reject tougher targets, it will set back the fight against climate change across the world. Tougher targets will be a big step towards cleaner energy, green jobs, and falling emissions.

There are rumours of a tug of war going on inside government. Conservative ministers will be putting the pressure on behind closed doors – let’s make sure Cameron knows that the public won’t stand by and watch him throw away this opportunity in the fight against climate change.

We know it can work. Last year, thousands of us contacted Cameron to tell him not to water down the UK’s own target – and we won.

Please email David Cameron now:


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Climate Change – UK MEPs defy cameron

August 10th, 2011 by

European Parliament

Photograph by LokoN

A few weeks ago, more than 10,000 of us e-mailed David Cameron to ask him to persuade Conservative MEPs to stick to government policy, and not oppose a vote for stronger climate change targets.

We teamed up with Greenpeace and Stop Climate Chaos to send a powerful message to the prime minster – don’t let your MEPs get in the way of stronger action on climate change.

We know that David Cameron felt the pressure from people powerhe promised he would “work on” bringing his MEPs to heel. But this time,  he wasn’t up to the task.  A number of Conservative MEPs defied the prime minster by backing a weakened amendment, so that in the end the European Parliament did not adopt strengthened targets.

But it’s not the end of the road for plans to strengthen Europe’s climate change targets, from a 20% to a 30% cut in carbon emissions by 2020.  Climate change and environmental organisations, as well as youth organisations, MEPs from every nation in Europe, and growing numbers of leading businesses are all committed to strengthening the EU’s climate targets, to help build a low carbon future.

The defeat last month was a setback. But the demands from all of us for changes that would help build a more sustainable Europe aren’t going to go away. New proposals for strengthened targets will be brought back to Parliament as soon as MEPs are able.

How you think we could best work to together to tackle climate change? What should the focus be on – transport? Housing? Food?

Please share ideas and links to useful information below.

Posted in 38 Degrees Blog Posts, Climate Change

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