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Polars Bears at State Opening of Parliament

in response to the Queen’s Speech and announcement of the Climate Change Bill in the Government’s forthcoming parliamentary session.  

I COUNT - the UK’s largest coalition on climate change

Polar bears, in royal costume, made their presence known at Parliament Square today on behalf of I Count - the UK's largest campaign on climate change. They were there to mark the State Opening of Parliament and the Queen’s Speech, which announced the Climate Change Bill as part of the Government’s legislative programme for the new parliamentary session. 

The legislation is the first of its kind in the world and proposes to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 60% by 2050. The bears  asked that Government act in line with its stated aim to keep global warming below the danger threshold of 2 degrees C and set a carbon dioxide reduction target in the Climate Change Bill of at least 80% by 2050.  

Ashok Sinha, Director for I Count said: “It’s great news that the Government will introduce the first legal obligation to drive down carbon emission of any country in the world. But to really to set an international lead, the Bill must commit the UK to least an 80 per cent reduction in UK carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, rather than the proposed 60 per cent. The Government has taken a big step; but it must now have the courage of its convictions and make UK the first country in the world to deliver emissions cuts in line with the need to keep global warming under the danger threshold of 2 degrees C”.

If industrialised countries only delivered a 60% C02 reduction target, and ignored aviation and shipping, we will see a global temperature rise of 4 degrees C or more according to The Tyndall Centre. 


For interview (Ashok Sinha, Director of I Count) and further information contact Alison Blower on 07967 698928. Images of I Count polar bears in royal costume at Parliament Square on the day of the Queen’s Speech available on request.


Notes to Editors:

1. I Count is the campaign of the Stop Climate Chaos coalition - showing the public and politicians that all our actions to reduce carbon emissions count.  We are the largest campaign on climate change and together we are millions of people and counting. www.icount.org.uk.

Alison Blower Media Coordinator - I Count campaign
Email: [email protected] Tel: 0207729 8732 Mob: 07967 698928

2 The Draft Climate Change Bill

The Climate Change Bill will be the first of its kind in the world. The first draft of the legislation was introduced by Government in March following pressure from I Count and other climate campaigners.  The Bill is likely to receive a second reading in December before being voted on by MPs in Spring 2008.  During the crucial next six months, I Count supporters and local groups from member organisations will be lobbying their MPs to ensure the UK delivers a bold Bill which keeps the UK within the global warming danger warming threshold of 2 C with the following:
a. Increase the carbon dioxide reduction target, from 60% to at least 80 % by 2050.
b. Ensure that emissions from international aviation & shipping are included in the reduction targets.
c. Set binding carbon budgets with annual milestones, to make sure that emissions reductions are on track.
3.   Why the Bill needs an 80% carbon reduction limit.
If industrialised countries only delivered a 60% CO2 reduction target and ignored aviation and shipping then we would be looking at a temperature rise amounting to  4 degrees C or more according to The Tyndall Centre.  Industrialised countries must deliver at least an 80% cut in CO2 if global warming is to be kept under  2 degrees C.  The Stern Review * and the IPCC clearly state that an increase of 2 degrees C degrees or more will result in severe impacts such as the collapse of the Amazonian rainforest, the onset of irreversible melting of the Greenland ice sheet and the beginning of more than one billion people suffering water shortages1. This also means that 15% to 40% of species will potentially face extinction and in southern Europe, crop yields will decline by 20%.   

4    I Count members include: Friends of the Earth, Christian Aid, Greenpeace, Oxfam, People & Planet, National Federation of Women’s Institutes, RSPB, Tearfund, World Wide Fund for Nature - UK (Board members), A Rocha, ACTSA, Action Aid, Airport Watch, BMS World Mission, CAFOD, Campaign against Climate Change, Campaign to Protect Rural England, Carplus, Climate Outreach and Information Network, Come off It, Ethical Consumer, Ethical Jobs, From Greenhouse to Green House, Garden Organic, Glasgow Eco-Renovation Network, Global Student Forum, Green TV, Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Science, Islamic Relief, Medact, National Commission for Justice and Peace, The National Trust for Scotland, Operation Noah, Plan B, Practical Action, Road Block, SAOCC, Save our World, SCIAF (Scottish Action on Climate Change), Shared Energy, SPEAK, Spokes, Surfers Against Sewage, Sustrans, Take Global Warming Seriously, The Wildlife Trusts, Transport 2000, UNA, Unison, Women's Environmental Network, Woodland Trust, World Development Movement, Youth Against Climate Change.

*Stern Review: The Economics of Climate Change, Sept 07