Dear Mr Stringer,
I am writing to you about your position as trustee of the Global Warming Policy Foundation.
I am puzzled as to why you, as a Labour member of Parliament, have taken on such a role. I am a member of the Labour party and while I welcome breadth of debate among Labour MPs I find it very hard to understand why you have chosen to ally with an organisation whose aims and activities are so at odds with the aims of the whole Labour movement.
After all, if the Global Warming Policy Foundation, and its offshoot, Net Zero Watch, were to be successful in convincing people that the climate emergency is not urgent or not being caused by human activity, action would be curtailed in an area where the whole Labour party and most current and future voters are so desperately keen to see progress.
There is unmistakable support for the net zero target among voters, including 63 percent of voters in ‘red wall’ seats. A significant majority of voters in seats that Labour has lost since 2005 believe that the best way to reduce our reliance on gas is through expanding renewable energy.
I know that the Global Warming Policy Foundation often tries to portray the environmental movement as being elitist, but I hope that you do not buy into this inversion of reality. The fossil fuel economy has delivered huge profits for the few, while leaving the many vulnerable. The poorest in this country and throughout the world are most at risk in current and foreseeable climate disasters. This country urgently needs greater investment in renewable energy, green technology and insulation in order to ensure that everyone, including those who are currently struggling, can live decent lives at the same time that our fragile ecosystem is not damaged further.
I know you have taken a great interest in transport policy over the years, and have actively supported the development of rapid light transport in Manchester. You therefore know well how green solutions can benefit local economies when well implemented, and how vital it is that a range of communities and their representatives are involved in developing green initiatives that work for everyone. It would be wonderful to see you involved in the development and discussion of such initiatives, rather than providing a cloak for regressive and elitist policies that would prevent the progress that is so much needed – and so much wanted by voters.
I hope that you can see that your trusteeship of Global Warming Policy Foundation appears at odds with potential progress at this time of environmental crisis – and at a time when Labour urgently needs to connect with voters in order to build a positive vision for a greener, fairer future.
I am writing to you personally, and also as a member of Writers Rebel, a group within Extinction Rebellion which has written to the Charity Commission to challenge the charitable status of the Global Warming Policy Foundation. I know that Extinction Rebellion is often portrayed as merely disruptive, but what I witness among its members is a huge desire to convey the urgency of the current situation in order to bring about positive change. It is vital that our environment is protected immediately, and it would be wonderful to see people and politicians now coming together to ensure a fast and fair transition to a greener world.
I would very much appreciate hearing from you, and would welcome the opportunity to discuss these issues with you.
Author and member of Writers Rebel