In a week's time - 20th March - the UK government faces a court case which is part of a campaign to force it to increase its legally binding CO2 reduction target, as set out in the Climate Change Act 2008. The campaign group Plan B Earth has brought the case after a crowdfunding exercise (they could still do with a bit more dosh). The need to increase the CO2 reduction target arises not only from the growing evidence of global harming, but also from the Paris agreement. My old friend Aubrey Meyer of the Global Commons Institute will address campaigners outside the Royal Courts of Justice next week. He will say:
"For most of my 71 years, all I have ever been is a musician, playing the violin and composing music. Doing this was wonderful. But the origins of humans making music go back at least 40,000 years, so I guess that makes me a kinda new kid on the block.
From long ago, music has worked within a shared universal standard of playing ‘in tune’ & ‘in time’ which makes it possible to play & also to play together. Music groups, such as orchestras for example, do actually ‘work’ for this reason and to avert the worst of climate change, a basis such as this is needed.
The Contraction & Convergence (C&C) climate proposal developed from this. Starting in 1989, it was introduced to UN climate negotiations in 1996 (COP-2), largely agreed at COP-3 in 1997 and it became very, very widely known & supported thereafter as, "the intellectually & morally coherent C&C principle".
However, in 2015 the UN adopted the Paris Climate Agreement. Due to increased climate-urgency, stiffer limits for temperature control and carbon reductions were adopted. Though the UK is a signatory to the Paris Agreement, HMG refuses to revise the emissions reduction target it set itself in 2008, to bring itself into line with the Paris Agreement.
As a result, the UK is now openly awarding itself more than 3 times its share of the global carbon budget that remains. With this UK target unchanged, it is a provocation.
Why should any other country accept the UK seizing more than three times its share of the much smaller global carbon budget that now remains for 1.5°C?
In recognition of this principle and this petition, I will play the “Ave Maria” melody Gounod added to the 1st Prelude from the “Well Tempered Clavichord”, one of the simplest but most famous & beautiful pieces of music ever written. Bach wrote it in 1721 for his wife Anna Magdalena.
Before this meeting ends this morning, perhaps I'll add some music that reflects the sadness of the situation, praying that we will now act together quickly on climate change to stop it getting worse. Before the end of this day - the Spring Equinox, 20 03 2018 - we should have a decision from the Court."