Open letter to the new Prime Minister, calls for climate, nature and the cost-of-living to be top of the new government’s agenda

Tuesday 6th September 2022


We’ve joined over 100 organisations and individuals from NGOs to unions, health bodies and faith leaders calling on the new Prime Minister to put climate, nature and the cost-of-living at the top of the agenda for the new government.

Read the full letter below:

The Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP
10 Downing Street

Dear Prime Minister,

We are writing as representatives of business and civil society to congratulate you on becoming Prime Minister and to urge you to put the interconnected climate, nature and cost of living crises at the top of the agenda for your new government.

Our vision is for a country and a world where children walk to school breathing fresh air instead of dangerous fumes, and their parents think about the future with hope instead of fear. We want brilliant engineers, builders, farmers and local people across the UK to be supported to roll out the solutions to make our homes warmer, our transport cleaner and cheaper, and to restore our natural environment to once again be full of life. We want the UK to lead and invest in real climate action around the world.

This vision is not the reality we are experiencing. This summer, record-breaking heatwaves have caused water shortages, placed overwhelming strain on our fire and rescue, health and transport services, and led to loss of life. Soaring energy bills are already making it harder and harder for millions of families to make ends meet, and spiralling gas prices are creating the prospect of people having to ride buses or visit libraries just to keep warm this winter. Millions of people around the world are facing catastrophic food crises and developing countries are having to divert expenditure from basic public services to respond to more frequent and intense floods, storms, wildfires, and droughts. 

As our new Prime Minister, you have the opportunity and duty to create a secure, fair and green future for the United Kingdom and to ensure the UK plays its part on the world stage. This means ramping up immediate support for people struggling to pay their bills and rapidly investing to make our homes warmer. It means at least tripling well-sited renewable energy by 2030 and moving away from our expensive and unreliable dependence on gas. It means reversing the decline of wildlife and protecting 30% of the land and sea for nature by 2030, adding to the strong foundation provided by the Habitats Regulations with investment in nature’s recovery. It means increasing support for farmers and coastal communities to transition to climate and nature-friendly farming and fisheries. It means securing a nature positive global deal for biodiversity at COP15, the UN biodiversity conference in Montreal. And it means supporting communities on the frontline of the climate crisis in the most vulnerable parts of the world.

To achieve this, you have not only our backing, as representatives of different sectors across UK society, but also of the British public. Polls show that taking action against climate change is a core concern not only for Conservative Party members, but for the overwhelming majority of the public, and that people have never been more hopeful about our power to tackle it. Great Big Green Week – the UK’s biggest ever celebration of community action to tackle the climate and nature crises we face – will attest later this month to the work people across the UK are already doing to stop climate change and bring nature and wildlife back to its full glory.

We urge you and your new cabinet to set out and deliver the bold plan we need to tackle the climate, nature and cost of living crises. Time is running out.

Yours sincerely,

Ben Margolis – Interim Director – The Climate Coalition
Dr Richard Benwell –  CEO –  Wildlife and Countryside Link
Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney – Joint General Secretaries – National Education Union
Christine Allen – Director – CAFOD
Professor Elizabeth J Z Robinson – Director – Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
Beccy Speight – Chief Executive – Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
Melissa Green – General Secretary – National Federation of Women’s Institutes
Orla Tarn – NUS Wales President – On behalf of National Union of Students (NUS)
Gwen Hines – CEO – Save the Children UK
Helen Browning – CEO – Soil Association
Patrick Watt – CEO – Christian Aid
Hilary McGrady – Director-General – National Trust
Tanya Steele – Chief Executive – WWF
Nigel Harris – CEO – Tearfund
Pat Venditti – Interim Executive Director – Greenpeace UK
Miriam Turner & Hugh Knowles – Co-Executive Directors – Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland
Simon Francis – Co-ordinator – End Fuel Poverty Coalition
Joan Edwards – Director of Policy and Public Affairs – The Wildlife Trusts
Tim Wainwright – Chief Executive – WaterAid
Shirine Khoury-Haq – Chief Executive Officer – The Co-operative Group
Danny Sriskandarajah – Chief Executive – Oxfam Great Britain
Tufail Hussain – UK Director – Islamic Relief Worldwide
Chris Sherwood – Chief Executive – RSPCA
Prof Alastair Driver FCIEEM – Director – Rewilding Britain
Christine Tuckett – Director of Programmes – Marine Conservation Society
Ian Dunn – CEO – Plantlife International
Paul Davies – Chief Executive – British Mountaineering Council
Ashley Metcalf – Chief Executive – British Canoeing
Michael Gidney – Chief Executive – The Fairtrade Foundation
Stephanie Draper – CEO – Bond
Steve Trent – CEO / Founder – Environmental Justice Foundation
Bob Reitemeier, Interim Director – Hope for the Future
Dr Richard Smith – Chair – UK Health Alliance on Climate Change
Will Snell – Chief Executive – Fairness Foundation
Kath Dalmeny – Chief Executive – Sustain the alliance for better food and farming
Belinda Gordon – Strategy Director – Green Alliance
Dr Mya-Rose Craig – President – Black2Nature
Tessa Khan – Director – Uplift
Max Wakefield – Co-Director – Possible
Alistair Dutton – Chief Executive – SCIAF
Andy Atkins – Chief Executive – A Rocha
Judy Ling Wong CBE – Honorary President – Black Environment Network
Fadi Itani OBE – CEO – Muslim Charities Forum
The Most Revd Andrew John – Archbishop of Wales & Bishop of Bangor – Church in Wales
Commissioner Anthony Cotterill – Leader – The Salvation Army in the United Kingdom and Ireland
The Rt Revd John Arnold – Roman Catholic Bishop of Salford; lead bishop on environmental affairs – Catholic Church in England and Wales
The Rt Revd Graham Usher – Bishop of Norwich and Lead Bishop for the Environment – The Church of England
The Rt Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin – Bishop of Dover
Revd Paul Whittle – Moderator-  United Reformed Church, National Synod of Scotland
Commissioner Anthony Cotterill – Leader of The Salvation Army in the United Kingdom and Ireland
Rabbi Dr Barbara Borts – Rabbi and Lecturer
Lori Marriott – Coordinator – Humanist Climate Action
Rev Archie Ford – Moderator – United Free Church of Scotland
Rabbi Dr Charles Middleburgh – Dean – Leo Baeck College
Rabbi Fabian Sborovsky – Menorah Synagogue
Rabbi Naomi Goldman – Kol Chai Hatch End Reform Jewish Community
Rabbi Robyn Ashworth-Steen – Manchester Reform Synagogue
Rabbi Dr. Jacqueline Tabick – Convenor – Reform Beit Din
Paul Parker – Recording Clerk – Quakers in Britain
Elizabeth Allen – Clerk, General Meeting for Scotland – Quakers in Scotland.
Jo Chamberlain – National Environment Policy Officer – Church of England Environment Programme
Romilly Greenhill – UK Director – The ONE Campaign
Dr Hazel Norman – Chief Executive – British Ecological Society
Duncan Law – Acting Co-Chief Executive – Community Energy England
Sue Riddlestone OBE – CEO & co-founder – Bioregional
Riccardo Casale – Cofounder – Carbon Copy
Diana Hysenaj – Communities Co-ordinator – Fair Energy Campaign
Ellie Wyatt – Founder – Eco Action Families
Dr Shanon Shah – Director – Faith for the Climate
Paul Chitnis – Director – Jesuit Missions
Deborah Tomkins – Co-Chair – Green Christian
Amanda Bronkhorst – CEO and Founder – JUST ONE Tree
David Cowdrey – Director of External Affairs – MCS Charitable Foundation
Fay Milton – Founder – Music Declares Emergency
Oliver Sidorczuk – Campaign Manager – Zero Hour
Dr Andrew Terry – Director of Conservation and Policy – Zoological Society of London
Dr Rose O’Neill – CEO – Campaign for National Parks
Nick Measham – CEO – WildFish
Christopher Price – CEO – Rare Breeds Survival Trust
David Bunt – CEO – Institute of Fisheries Management
Paul Coulson – Chairman – East Yorkshire Rivers Trust
Andy Knott MBE – CEO – League Against Cruel Sports
Hugo Tagholm – CEO – Surfers Against Sewage
Sally Hayns – CEO – Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management
Dr Daniel Winterstein – Director – Good-Loop Advertising
Lauren MacCallum – General Manager – Protect Our Winters UK
Jill Nelson – CEO – People’s Trust for Endangered Species
Gill Perkins – CEO – Bumblebee Conservation Trust
Mark Jones – Head of Policy – Born Free Foundation
Matt Shardlow – Chief Executive – Buglife
Dr Ruth Tingay – Co-Director – Wild Justice
Kit Stoner – CEO – Bat Conservation Trust
Sarah Carr – CEO – Naturewatch Foundation
Julie Williams – CEO – Butterfly Conservation
Kate Ashbrook – General Secretary – Open Spaces Society
Dr Stephen Head – Founder Patron – Wildlife Gardening Forum
Steve Micklewright – CEO – Trees for Life
David Ramsden MBE – Head of Conservation – Barn Owl Trust
Sarah Edwards – Executive Director – ECCR
Stephen Edwards – CEO – Living Streets
Robin Maynard – Executive Director – Population Matters
Sean Mallon – Climate Change Specialist – Environmentally Conscious
Sam Ward – Climate Cymru Manager – Climate Cymru
Susie Ventris-Field – Chief Executive – Welsh Centre for International Affairs
Mike Robinson – Chair – Stop Climate Chaos Scotland
Vicky Moller – Director and Founder – Grwp Resilience
Therese Warwick – Community Participation Co-ordinator – CAFOD South Wales
Jill Kent – Chair – Justice and Peace Scotland
Ben Winter – Trustee – Scottish Education and Action for Development (SEAD)
Lucy Gillie – Manager – South Seeds
Charlotte Dwyer – Chair – IDEAS
Liz Marquis – CEO – Energy Agency
Dave du Feu – Lead Organiser – Spokes, the Lothian Cycle Campaign
Michael Cook – CEO – Circular Communities Scotland
Patricia Rogers – Chair – United Nations Association, London and South East Region
Lucy Bywater – Chair – Bedfordshire Climate Change Forum
Rowena Quantrill – Representative – Climate Friendly Bradford on Avon
Marilyn Mason – Chair – Transition Town Kingston
Dr Timothy Claydon – Harborough Climate Action
Canon Brian Davis – Priest of the Church of England – Sustainable Harborough Community

This letter is now closed for additional signatures. For any queries, please contact [email protected]