Extinction Rebellion has worked together with other experts and working groups to put together a draft of a Bill, containing their three demands. The plan is to put it to government as a Private Member’s Bill. They are currently contacting various MPs in order to get it introduced in Parliament. The draft Bill is currently as follows:
CLIMATE AND ECOLOGICAL EMERGENCY BILL
A BILL TO
Require the Prime Minister to ensure that the UK achieves specified objectives regarding climate change, ecosystems and biodiversity; to give the Secretary of State a duty to draw up and implement a strategy to achieve those objectives; to establish a Citizens’ Assembly to work with the Secretary of State in drawing up that strategy; to give duties to the Committee on Climate Change regarding the objectives and the strategy; and for connected purposes.
- Duty of the Prime Minister – climate change and biodiversity
(1) It shall be the duty of the Prime Minister to ensure that the UK achieves the following objectives,
(a) reduces its greenhouse gas emissions, in accordance with the provisions of the UNFCCC and the
Paris Agreement regarding—
(i) common but differentiated responsibilities, and (ii) respective capabilities taking into account different national circumstances,
to a level that would, in the opinion of the Committee on Climate Change, be consistent with keeping global average temperature increase to 1.5°C compared to pre-industrial levels; (b) restores and regenerates soils, biodiverse habitats and ecosystems and, wherever possible,
expands these in area, for the purpose of optimising their carbon sink capacity and resilience to climate change and conserving biodiversity; (c) reduces its overall anthropogenic impact on the variety, abundance and health of both soil and biodiversity. (2) In this section—
(a) “the UNFCCC” means the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change adopted
on 9 May 1992; (b) “the Paris Agreement” is an agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change adopted on 12 December 2015; (c) “pre-industrial levels” is the mean temperature over the period 1850–1900; (d) “biodiverse habitats” are habitats that are abundant in living species; (e) “carbon sink capacity” is the ability of natural reservoirs including—without prejudice to the
generality—woodlands, wetlands, peatlands and soil to absorb more carbon than they emit; and (f) “anthropogenic impact” is the direct and indirect negative influences of human action on soils and biodiversity.
- Duty of the Secretary of State
(1) The Secretary of State must within 12 months of the passing of this Act publish a strategy (‘the strategy’
specifying the measures that will in their opinion but subject to section 4 of this Act achieve the objectives.
(2) For the purpose of achieving the objectives, the strategy must—
(a) include all UK consumption- and production-related emissions, including—
(i) those relating to imports and exports and arising from aviation, shipping and land-based transport, and (ii) any other consumption- and production-related emissions;
(b) only use natural climate solutions (NCS) as the CO2 removal measures for the purpose of achieving the objectives;
(c) ensure that any negative emissions technologies to increase the removal of CO2 from the atmosphere that are considered would be additional to the objectives, thus increasing its overall ambition, and are only used to— (i) compensate for warming arising from emissions that cannot be completely eliminated from agricultural and industrial systems, or (ii) rectify the UK’s historical contribution to global warming;
(d) ensure that negative emissions technologies are not used to compensate for CO2 emissions from the energy system; these emissions need to reach zero without contributions of the aforementioned negative emissions technologies;
(e) ensure that the variety, abundance and health of UK ecosystems, and the ecosystem services they generate, are enhanced through active restoration and minimising the adverse impacts of domestic consumption and production;
(f) ensure that all necessary steps are taken so that supply chains of imports and exports minimise adverse impacts on ecological systems, including inter alia soils and biodiverse habitats overseas, and implement conditions that protect their health and resilience;
(g) ensure that (a), (b), (c), (d), (e) and (f) are applied to every five-yearly carbon budget that the CCC recommends to the UK Government.
(3) In this section—
“natural climate solutions (NCS)” includes but is not restricted to reforestation, sustainable land management and restoration of wetlands, peat bogs and coastal ecosystems.
(4) Before publishing the strategy, the Secretary of State must issue a call for tenders for an independent body to establish a Citizens’ Assembly called the Citizens’ Assembly on the Climate and Ecological Emergency (the ‘Citizens’ Assembly’) to work in cooperation with the Secretary of State and to recommend measures to be included in the strategy.
- Functions of the Citizens’ Assembly
(1) It shall be the duty of the Citizens’ Assembly to—
(a) consider information provided by experts, and any other persons who have submitted evidence;
(b) deliberate and make recommendations on the measures needed for the United Kingdom to achieve the objectives;
(c) publish a report, or reports, on any decisions reached and the reasons for them, as soon as is reasonably practicable;
(d) advise the Secretary of State on measures to be included in the strategy pursuant to section 2(4);
(e) ensure that the measures adopted to achieve the objectives—
(i) take into consideration the United Kingdom’s present and historical role in global emissions and comparative economic situation as indicated by the Paris Agreement;
(ii) do not disproportionately impact deprived communities;
(iii) do not disproportionately impact people with protected characteristics contained within section 4 of the Equality Act 2010; and
(iv) include adequate financial support and retraining for workers in greenhouse gas emission-intensive sectors and industries which are impacted upon by the proposed measures.
(2) In this section—
“a deprived community” is a community with a high rating using government indices of deprivation.
- Decisions by the Secretary of State
(1) On receiving the recommendations from the Citizens’ Assembly, the Secretary of State must—
(a) include in the strategy those recommendations that have the support of at least eighty percent of the Citizens’ Assembly that are not measures requiring—
(i) the disbursement of public funds, or (ii) charges upon the people;
(b) consider and try to reach agreement with the Citizens’ Assembly regarding recommendations that have the support of at least eighty percent of the Citizens’ Assembly that are measures requiring—
(i) the disbursement of public funds, or (ii) charges upon the people; (c) consider measures that have the support of more than two thirds of the Citizens’ Assembly but less than eighty percent.
(2) The Secretary of State must publish their decisions regarding recommendations by the Citizens’ Assembly and the reasons for them.
(3) The Secretary of State must implement the strategy to achieve the objectives.
- Review of the strategy
(1) If in the opinion of the Secretary of State or the Citizens’ Assembly the objectives will not be achieved by the strategy, the Secretary of State must review the strategy and revise it so that the objectives will be met.
(2) The Citizens’ Assembly may make recommendations regarding the revision of the strategy and in such a case section 4(1) and (2) shall apply.
(3) The Secretary of State must implement any revised strategy.
- Duty of the Committee on Climate Change
The following section shall be inserted into the Climate Change Act 2008:
“33A It is the duty of the Committee on Climate Change to—
(1) give the opinion specified in section 1 of the Climate and Ecological Emergency Act 2020;
(2) decide on a methodology for calculating the United Kingdom’s total CO2 consumption emissions
(3) develop its advice based upon the perspectives of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and methodologies from The Biodiversity Metric 2.0 (4) decide on a methodology for calculating the health of ecosystems, including measures of species’ abundance, the quality and scope of biodiverse habitats and soil quality and contamination;
(5) set annual carbon budgets that supersede the existing carbon budgets and publish an annual report showing the progress towards meeting the objectives and implementing the recommendations; and
(6) base its advice only on a transparent scientific and mathematical interpretation of the objectives and explicitly communicated related value judgments.
- Short title, Extent and Commencement
(1) This Act may be cited as the Climate and Ecological Emergency Act 2020
(2) This Act extends to the whole of the UK provided that the Secretary of State shall secure the consent of the Welsh Assembly Government and the Scottish Parliament before taking any action in Wales and Scotland respectively on devolved matters.
(3) This Act shall, subject to subsection (2), come into force on the day it receives Royal Assent.
The drafting of the CEE bill gratefully acknowledges the expert contributions and insights of
Prof. Kevin Anderson
Dr. James Dyke
Dr. Charlie Gardner
Prof. Dave Goulson
Prof. Tim Jackson
Dr. Joeri Rogelj
Prof. Graham Smith
Mr. Robert Whitfield