Chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance gave MPs a climate change briefing. Image: Pippa Fowles / No 10 Downing Street
A “game-changing” emergency briefing on climate change which all Tory leadership candidates reportedly failed to attend has been made available for all to watch.
The briefing, led by the UK’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance, outlines the catastrophic impacts of a warmer planet, from ice loss to biodiversity declines.
It was shown to MPs after activist Angus Rose conducted a 37-day hunger strike outside parliament to demand a public address to MPs on the climate crisis.
In 2020 the same briefing was shown to Boris Johnson, and reportedly had a “huge impact” on the prime minister’s stance on climate change and his decision to act on the crisis.
Despite this, The i newspaper reported not a single Tory leadership candidate attended the most recent emergency briefing, hosted by the all-party parliamentary group on climate change.
Rose said he was “fairly happy” with the outcome of his hunger strike, but was disappointed that no leadership hopefuls attended.
“You would think a number of them would be aware that Boris had a similar briefing in 2020 and that had an effect on him,” he said.
It comes as green-leaning MPs and environmental charities express concern over the potential for the UK’s net zero target to be derailed by the next prime minister, with some candidates – Kemi Badenoch most emphatically – openly criticising the policy.
Vallance’s briefing is just 11 slides long, and outlines data around temperature change and some of the impacts this will have on the UK and the globe more widely.
The first two slides outline temperature change over time, as well as the role of greenhouse gases in driving this warming.
The presentation also includes slides outlining sea ice loss, increases in extreme weather events and future projections for the climate.
The final slide includes a graph outlining how climate change can be mitigated.
Earlier this year, the Carbon Brief publication obtained all the presentation slides via a Freedom of Information request, making them all available at this link.
The presentation given to MPs by Vallance this week is now available to view on Youtube.
Opening the presentation, Vallance said: “There’s no way that we can just ignore [climate change], there’s no way we can just pretend it isn’t happening.”
He added that climate change will now be the most important thing for world leaders to focus on in the coming years.
The organisers of the event did not make the names of attendees available, so a full list of MPs who attended is not available.
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