Councils need to take note - climate change now a matter of life and death  

MPs on Parliament’s Environment Audit Committee(EAC) have warned that “higher temperatures which caused 2000+ deaths in 2003 will be summer norm by 2040s, making adaptation to heatwaves a matter of life and death.” The Met Office has projected that UK summer temperatures could regularly reach 38.5°C by the 2040s.” [note 1].

The report could not have been more timely, given the heat wave currently hitting England.   

Mary Creagh MP, Chair of the EAC, said: “Heatwaves cause premature deaths from cardiac, kidney and respiratory disease. There will be 7,000 heat-related deaths every year in the UK by 2050 if the Government does not take action.”

Especially worrying is the fact that this heat wave is worldwide. Our last major heatwave in Britain was in 1976, but then it was quite cool elsewhere. But this time we see temperatures of 52C in Death Valley, California, 51C in Algeria and even 30C in northern Siberia.

Scientists differ on whether the current global rash of heatwaves is definitely caused by climate change. But all agree that future heatwaves will be hotter and more frequent thanks to carbon emissions. [note 2] 

Kitty D’Costa of Brent Friends of the Earth commented: “While Mary Creagh and a handful of MPs on EAC may be concerned, it seems that the vast majority of MPs are not voting consistently for measures that will make a difference to carbon emissions. They support policies that will make climate change even worse – Heathrow expansion, fracking across the UK [note 3], opposition to wind farms [note 4] and poor design of new housing.   

Brent MPs Dawn Butler and Barry Gardiner have voted against Heathrow expansion, but have not signed the Climate Coalition Letter calling for zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.  

Brent MP Tulip Siddiq signed up to the Climate Coalition Letter, but was absent from Parliament during Heathrow Expansion vote.

Brent Council,led by Mohammed Butt (Leader) and Margaret McLennan (Deputy Leader) support the Heathrow expansion, believing itwillcreate jobsin Brent. However, this belief is not supported by the report of the Airports Commission, and we believe that more jobs can be created with an expansion of sustainable energy [note 5]There are some measures to reduce climate change in the Manifesto on which Brent stood during the local elections, but we believe that the council could go further [note 6].

  Kitty added “ Hot weather is an especial problem in London where the ‘heat island’ effect makes things even worse.  Brent Council should prioritise clean air and provide the leadership for London boroughs in divestment of fossil fuels.

Climate change is now the biggest issue on earth and it is high time our MPs and Brent Councils step up to the plate and give their whole hearted backing to reducing greenhouse gases.”

Contact: Kitty D’Costa 07506810761 



1.  https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/environmental-audit-committee/news-parliament-2017/heatwaves-report-publication-17-19/

Heat-related deaths set to treble by 2050 unless Govt acts ...


Environmental Audit Committee publishes Heatwaves: adapting to climate change report


2.  https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-44956310 

3. Fracking is a destructive method of getting oil or gas out of rocks, thereby increasing burning of fossil fuels and increasing climate-changing emissions (mainly carbon dioxide - CO2). 

4. Wind energy (also solar) is a “renewable” source of energy which does not emit climate-changing gases. 

5. Airports Commission: ‘Heathrow Airport North West Runway: Business Case and Sustainability Assessment’ (Nov 2014) https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploa...

 6.Brent council manifesto https://www.scribd.com/document/374803188/2018-Brent-Labour-Manifesto


Share this