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Sustainability groups express their concern as we head into COP28

Local sustainability groups express concern about compromised international talks on climate with an open letter

As members of community groups from across Cumbria, the Cumbria Sustainability Network hope for a good result from the United Nations COP28 climate talks taking place from 30 November until 12 December 2023.  However, we are concerned that the conference will be hosted by the United Arab Emirates, held in Dubai, and chaired by the chief executive of their national oil company.  The UAE continues to invest heavily in oil and gas and we are worried that any commitments to phase out fossil fuels may be fudged by the vested interests of oil-producing nations.

International diplomacy has been successful in bringing together nations to sign pledges such as the 2015 Paris Agreement, which is a legally binding international treaty with the goal of keeping the global average temperature below dangerous levels.  But we need urgent action on climate as well as words as our efforts to cut carbon emissions cannot wait!  As a network, groups across Cumbria are concerned about the lack of progress on these goals and question whether COP28 is going to achieve the rapid change we need.  We have seen unprecedented temperatures in the UK this summer, and this is feeding into higher rainfall and flooding in many areas, causing misery and hardship.  Our leaders must recognise the terrible problems that we are storing up for the future, and act to phase out fossil fuel use as rapidly as possible. At a Cumbria level, we understand that the global challenge we face can feel overwhelming and are calling for more direction and leadership from our local authorities.

Members of Cumbria Sustainability Network want to support everyone to ‘do their bit’ to try and help nature and the planet.  We can all take steps to cut energy use; buy local grown and manufactured products and reduce plastic waste.  We also need to raise our voices to ensure local and national leaders to do the right thing on climate and step up with information and help for householders to go green.

Information about the network is on the Zero Carbon Cumbria website Cumbria Sustainability Network – Zero Carbon Cumbria – Carbon reduction action across the county., and we would like to welcome more people to join us to find local solutions to the climate crisis which will help create a better future for our children and grandchildren.

Yours sincerely

Members of the Cumbria Sustainability Network

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