Her Majesty The Queen
Dear Queen Elizabeth,
Today, the day after the conclusion of the “Rio+20” Earth Summit, we have organised a protest to demand a fundamental up-scaling of our national effort to confront the emergency presented by catastrophic destabilisation of global climate.
We have chosen to mount it outside Buckingham Palace, the official residence of our head of state, as a way of emphasising that this is an issue of critical importance for our national destiny, as well as for the future of the entire global community.
We have chosen to do it on this day in order to condemn the failure of the governments of the world to take action at anything like the scale required to respond to the global environmental crisis. But we want to make the point that this is not the time to simply deplore the failure of international agreements, or put the blame on other people or other countries, but rather to focus on rising to face the crisis here at home. We are calling for our nation to take strenuous, positive, action both to fulfill our responsibilities as a major emitter of greenhouse gases, now and historically, and to show courage and resolution in taking a lead on the issue, if necessary.
We echo the sentiments of your son and heir, HRH The Prince of Wales, voiced many times, including just last week, that “the doomsday clock of climate change is ticking ever faster towards midnight. We are simply not reacting quickly enough…”. But we are going further because such sentiments are in danger of becoming mere platitudes if not accompanied by concrete proposals for action. We are demanding annual emission cuts of around ten percent per year, as recommended, for instance, by Kevin Anderson of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research.
This would mean, of course, a huge up-scaling of national effort to decarbonise our economy at speed and a coming together of the whole UK community behind this, as our number one national priority.
You are from the generation that can remember another great national struggle. We believe that our national security is at stake now, no less than it was during the dark days of the last Great War, albeit in a very different way. As you celebrate this year’s Jubilee you must find it impossible not to view with consternation the dark clouds that once again are gathering to threaten the future of this island, with which your name has been so closely associated these last sixty years. These are the dark clouds of what looks increasingly likely to be a much greater global tragedy than the last World War.
It is time to act – with boldness, resolution and determination – not the kind of half-hearted half-measures that we have seen up to now. It is time that you and all public figures with influence followed the example of your son; by speaking up loudly, clearly, and unceasingly, about the escalating threat of catastrophic climate change. It’s time for heightened ambition, for a great national effort, for ten percent cuts in emissions this year and every year, until we achieve a Zero Carbon Britain.
For our part, we will be doing our best to continue the struggle – and follow the example of those who have struggled for so many great causes in the past – of suffrage or of national self-determination, for instance. Because on this cause, we believe, the very fate of humanity hangs in the balance.
With our fondest hopes for this nation of ours and the world,