Valentine’s Day is for roses, chocolates, and...fighting climate change?
Jessica Marsh Digital Campaigns Officer, Kiri Hanks Energy Policy Adviser
28th Jan 2016
Whether you love Valentine's Day or hate it (don't worry, we've all been there), this year we're celebrating the holiday a little differently. Forget roses, chocolates, and unrequited love-and start thinking bright green hearts, beautiful love letters to people around the world, and protecting everything we hold dear from the effects of climate change.
The reason we're taking over Valentine's Day is simple: climate change hurts all the things we love, and we won't sit back and let that happen. That means even the aforementioned roses and chocolates are being affected - but even more important than chocolate, the changing climate means that life is becoming increasingly difficult for the world's poorest and most vulnerable people.
The global climate deal is only the beginning
Just three months ago, politicians showed the love for our planet in a pretty incredible way - almost every single government in the world agreed to a climate deal which promises to increase our global ambition to avoid the most disastrous effects of climate change by limiting warming to well below 2°C and striving to limit it to 1.5°C. But as the headlines throughout December and January were filled with news of the inundated villages in the UK and beyond, it became clear that setting these
ambitious targets was the easy part.
An important part, yes, but the real challenge now is to turn these words into action. Despite the signed deal striving to limit warming to 1.5°C, we know that current commitments have us on a path towards 3°C of warming. An extra degree and a bit may not seem like much, but in reality it's the difference between protecting people in developing countries or crushing them under the burden of climate change.
The end of the fossil fuel era is inevitable. The rise of renewables is unstoppable.
That's why this Valentine's Day is so important. We have the momentum, we have the know-how - all we need now is to continue spreading the love to our politicians to ensure they know we support them doing everything they can to protect people around the world. As one of the wealthiest countries most responsible for climate change, our government has an especially important role to play in leading by example and being amongst the first to end our reliance on fossil fuels. With enough
political will, 100% clean energy is 100% possible within a generation!
The UK made a huge step in the right direction last year by announcing a complete phase out of coal plants by 2025, but the transition to a completely fossil-free future is at risk of slowing down due to recent cutbacks in support for renewable energy. These cutbacks are being made in the name of affordable bills - an argument that holds little weight when we know that renewable options like wind and solar will be cheaper than gas by 2020.
There is huge potential in the UK for renewable energy, but at the moment we're not taking full advantage of it. Although we're used to being ahead of the technological curve, this is one area that we're at risk of being left far behind. African leaders have already set their sights on reaching a continental goal of 300GW renewable energy by 2030a target which far - overshadow ours.
Together we can show the love
We're ready to turn this all around. Join us this Valentine's Day in an outpouring of love and support for a renewable revolution in the UK - one which will ask the government to catch up with public opinion. Here are two easy ways you can make your voice heard:
1. Wear your heart on your sleeve. Make, wear, and share a green heart to begin a conversation about how climate change is threatening the world's poorest people, and the importance of building an energy system that's fit for the future.
2. Ask your MP to join you. Send a message to your MP and ask them to wear a green heart as well to show their support for making the switch to 100% clean energy within a generation.
Find out more about the campaign