Martin Salter - working hard for Reading West

Calling Copenhagen - Reading’s Message to the Prime Minister on Climate Change

Reading West and Labour Vice-Chair for the Environment Martin Salter has this week delivered a message to Prime Minister Gordon Brown on behalf of 50 local groups in Reading ahead of the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen. Mr Salter was one of three guest speakers at a recent climate change meeting organised at the Reading International Solidarity Centre by the Greater Reading Environmental Network (GREN).

The message which was endorsed by Mr Salter said

We therefore call on our representatives to persuade the Prime Minister to lead an urgent and considered UK Government and European Union effort at the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen in December 2009.

This must aim to limit global warming below 2˚C through the following necessary measures:

  • A binding target of 40% cuts in carbon dioxide emissions by 2020 relative to 1990 levels in the rich industrialised nations, and similar levels of reductions in other greenhouse gases;
  • Emissions cuts to be made in our own countries and to apply to all economic sectors, in line with the origins of greenhouse gas emissions;
  • Sufficient financial assistance to be offered to the developing countries to adapt to the impacts of climate change and to adopt more sustainable paths of development.

Paul Harper, Chair of GREN, said:-

“I think it’s really impressive that over 50 local groups representing 1,000s of people signed Reading’s Message to the UK government on climate change and we thank Martin Salter for promising to take this to Gordon Brown. As the message makes clear, we believe the UK government is not yet providing the level of leadership and action needed to tackle the climate emergency that faces us. There is an opportunity now for us all to make positive changes that will not only avoid a catastrophe for our children and grandchildren, but could make the world a better place to live our lives.”                              

Martin Salter added:-

“Time is running out for the world to take the issue of climate change seriously. Britain is the first country with legally binding climate change legislation in place and I do believe that we have a strong leadership role to play at Copenhagen to challenge the climate change denialists and to forge a binding international agreement to try to limit global warming below the critical level of 2˚C. If the world continues to prevaricate it will soon be too late to prevent a disaster for future generations”.