A cross-party group of MPs, backed by campaign groups, has called for an immediate ban on all investment in fossil fuels and for all UK aid to be “nature positive”.
The 28 MPs, led by Tory Zac Goldsmith and Labour’s Kerry McCarthy, with support from Amnesty International, WWF and other organisations, criticised the UK for “actively undermining” its own investment in tackling the climate emergency by continuing to fund fossil fuels through aid and export finance.
Kumi Naidoo, the secretary general of Amnesty who has made the climate crisis a key focus of the group’s work, said leaders needed an “urgent wake-up call”. The MPs and charities urged the government to put the environment at the centre of aid targets to alleviate poverty worldwide.
Speaking ahead of the launch of a cross-party People and Nature campaign in parliament on Monday, which will lobby for greater protections, Naidoo said: “There can be no lasting solution to any of the world’s crises – whether poverty, inequality, or human rights – without real action to save our planet from irreversible, catastrophic climate change and the loss of the natural systems we all rely on.
Our leaders need an urgent wake-up call. This generation must take the decisions and the action to ensure humanity has a future on this planet. There is no alternative.”
Rory Stewart, the international development secretary, is due to give a keynote speech at the launch.
Wildlife expert Jane Goodall said: “People and nature cannot and have never existed separately – every individual, no matter how big or small makes a difference to the world and its web of life. We must protect our forests and animals, but we cannot do this if people are struggling to survive.”
She said the campaign is launching at a “vital time” ahead of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity in 2020.
The group said that like the climate emergency, the decline of nature will affect the poorest people first. Read more