An open letter to Keir Starmer and David Lammy

Today, Green New Deal Rising have sent an open letter to David Lammy MP and Keir Starmer MP calling on the Labour Party to step up and seize the opportunity to make the UK a true global climate leader. A global coalition of over 95 climate activists, experts and campaigners have signed the letter. You can read the full letter below: 

Dear David Lammy and Keir Starmer, 

We write to you as experts, activists and campaigners from around the world, concerned with stopping the climate crisis and building a better world for all. The Labour Party, if elected next year, will take power halfway through a critical decade. We write to you in the hope that you will take the opportunity of a lifetime to bring the UK into a position of global climate leadership.

Everywhere we look, we can see the devastating impacts of climate change and its human toll unfold, hitting those who have contributed the least the hardest. After two centuries of dirty fossil fuel use and colonial power, the UK now benefits from one of the biggest economies in the world and enjoys a position of unique influence over global finance. In this context, Global South leaders estimate that the UK’s fair share of global climate finance is around £46 billion: the UK is currently contributing just 5% of this. The Labour Party must repair the UK’s relationship with the global majority by using its power and influence to ensure it contributes its fair share. 

Given the clear warning from scientists and the International Energy Agency that there can be no new oil and gas developments if we are to stay within planetary boundaries, it is alarming to see the UK government green-light hundreds of new oil and gas licences in the North Sea. So we welcome your commitment to issuing no new oil and gas licences under your leadership, and to cancel the current Investment Allowance. Now you must follow through by pledging to stop in-progress oil and gas fields, like Rosebank, and to scrap all fossil fuel production and consumption subsidies. 

The Global South shoulders the majority of the worst immediate impacts of climate breakdown. Despite this, a high debt burden currently prevents spending on climate change mitigation and adaptation. This burden also shackles the Global South to dirty export industries: a vicious cycle of planetary harm. The UK is well positioned to change this - it holds £4.9 billion in debt, and English law governs 90% of the debt contracts for the world’s poorest countries. Labour can catalyse global climate action by utilising the UK's position to forgive and legislate away these countries' debt burden.

As climate collapse progresses, some choose to stoke anti-migrant and anti-refugee sentiment, with devastating human consequences. Once in power, The Labour Party should immediately seek to undo the cruel and inhuman migration policies of the current Conservative government and build a just, inclusive and practical migration and asylum system that is ready for the 21st century.

The crises faced by people in the UK are inseparable from the crises faced around the world. We must tackle climate change and inequality, simultaneously, to secure a future that ensures the survival of our communities. History has shown us that the only thing that stands in the way of a better future is a bold vision and the bravery to do the right thing.

We urge you to prepare the Labour Party to show global leadership with a vision for an internationalist Green New Deal by pledging to:

  1. End fossil fuel subsidies, freeing up £12 billion of government spending money per year to help finance the UK’s international climate finance and adaptation commitments
  2. Introduce a 95% tax on excess profits of companies involved in dirty fuel exploration, production and pipeline transport in the UK to curtail climate-destroying fuels and raise vital funds for global climate change adaptation and mitigation measures
  3. Prevent dirty fuel investors from suing states for taking needed climate action by committing to a moratorium on Investor-State Dispute Settlements by UK investors (ISDS) and arbitrations within UK borders and ending ISDS in current and future free trade agreements.
  4. Announce withdrawal from trade agreements obstructing climate action, namely the Energy Charter Treaty and the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement
  5. Cancel bilateral debt with the Global South and use the UK’s position in the IMF and WTO to push for the same internationally
  6. Align the UK’s migration system with public opinion by ending the inhumane and cruel treatment of refugees through army barrack detention, restricted access to healthcare and the ban on working. Within the first 100 days of your government, repeal the Illegal Migration Act 2023, end the Rwanda scheme, and expand the UK’s resettlement scheme for refugees. 
  7. Facilitate Low-Carbon Technology Transfer by conditioning public funding for low-carbon technology development on public domain access, and launch a Climate Patent Pool with other global leaders in low-carbon technology development. 


Fatima Ibrahim and Hannah Martin, Co-Executive Directors, Green New Deal Rising (UK)

Vanessa Nakate, Founder and Activist, Youth for Future Africa (Africa)

Dame Emma Thompson, Academy Award Winner and Activist (UK)

Luisa-Marie Neubauer, Activist, Fridays for Future Germany (Germany)

George Monbiot, Author and Journalist (UK)

Professor Robert Macfarlane, Author and Fellow, Cambridge University (UK)

James Schneider, Author and Communications Director, Progressive International (UK)

Linna Gadde, Activist, Fridays for Future Sweden (Sweden)

Eleanor Terrelonge, Executive Director, Jamaica Climate Change Youth Council (Jamaica)

Elise Sørensen, Activist, Noereh - Young Sami and Nature and Youth (Norway)

Ugnė Budriūnaitė, Acting Secretary-General, ReGeneration 2030 (Nordic and Baltic Regions)

Dr Rhiannon Mihranian Osborne, Students for Global Health (UK)

Nanang Kosim, Human Rights Activist (Indonesia)

Klara Sørensen, Activist, The Green Youth Movement of Denmark (Denmark)

Yusuf Baluch, Climate Justice and Human Rights Activist, Fridays for Future Balochistan,  (Balochistan/Pakistan)

Tigs Manley, Activist, Merseyside Youth For Justice (UK)

Areeba Hamid and Will McCallum, Co-Executive Directors, Greenpeace (UK)

Norly Grace Mercado, Asia Regional Director, (Asia)

Joseph Zane Sikulu, Pacific Regional Director, (Pacific)

Glen Tyler-Davis, South Africa Team Leader, (South Africa)

Nicolò Wojewoda, Europe Director, (Europe)

Ilan Zugman, Latin America Regional Director, (Latin America)

Jeff Ordower, North America Regional Director, (North America)

Bethany Copsey, Lead Organiser, Gastivists (Europe)

Carina Aaltonen, Chair, Emmaus (Europe)

Madhuresh Kumar, National Coordinator and Senior Atlantic Fellow for Social and Economic Equity, National Alliance of People's Movements (India)

Gautam Bandyopadhyay, National Convenor, Nadi Ghati Morcha (India)

Liliana Buitrago, Ecofeminist Activist and Researcher, Ecosocial and Intercultural Pact of the South (Venezuela) 

Kavita Naidu, International Human Rights Lawyer, Global Just Transitions Project (Australia)

Nick Dearden, Director, Global Justice Now (UK)

Leelou Gordon-Fox, Youth Network Organiser, Global Justice Now (UK)

Alex Lenferna, General Secretary, Climate Justice Coalition (South Africa)

Professor John Barry, Co-Director, Centre for Sustainability, Equality and Climate Action (UK)

John Feffer, Coordinator, Global Just Transition (International)

Andrew Pendleton, Deputy CEO and Director of Strategy and Advocacy, Global Action Plan (UK)

Mohamed Adow, Director, Power Shift Africa (Africa)

Andrew Simms, Co-director, New Weather Institute (UK)

Professor Daniel Aldana Cohen, Director, Socio-Spatial Climate Collaborative (US)

Jack Johnson and Noah Herford, Co-Founders, Climate Vanguard (International)

Neal Lawson, Executive Director, Compass (UK)

Frances Foley Deputy, Deputy Director, Compass (UK)

Dr Arlene Ditchfield, Programme Leader, Scottish Association for Marine Science (UK)

Kim Hjerrild, Circular Economy Advisor and Member of the Board, Circular Innovation Lab (Denmark)

Gabriel Davalos, Head of Campaigns and Communications, Stop Rosebank (UK)

Martha Myers, Climate Justice Campaigner and Researcher, Corporate Europe Observatory (Europe)

Pascoe Sabido, Climate Justice Campaigner and Researcher, Corporate Europe Observatory (Europe)

Nonhlanhla Makuyana and Guppi Bola, Co-Directors, Decolonising Economics (UK)

Chaitanya Kumar Kotikalapudi, Head of Environment and Green Transitions, New Economics Foundation (UK)

Tess Woolfenden, Senior Policy and Research Officer, Debt Justice (UK)

Rosa Balliro, Executive Director, Jubilee Scotland (Scotland)

Dr Fran Boait, Co-executive Director, Positive Money (UK)

Dr Mary-Ann Stephenson, Director, UK Women’s Budget Group (UK)

Ruth London, Director, Fuel Poverty Action (UK)

Tony Staunton, President, Campaign against Climate Change, Plymouth Trades Union Council (UK)

Natalie Abrahami, Director, Stage Directors Union (UK)

Jon Hardy, National Chair, ACORN (UK)

Rory Goldring, Action Asylum Project Leader, Asylum Link Merseyside (UK)

Rachael Bellis, Artistic Director, Auquitas (UK)

Leonor Lemee, Vice-Chair, Equity For A Green New Deal (UK)

Tilly Cook, Chair, Labour for a Green New Deal (UK)

Carola Rackete, Activist and Independent MEP Candidate, LEFT (Germany)

Dr Tristram Wyatt, Senior Research Fellow in Dept of Biology at the University of Oxford and Activist at Scientists for Extinction Rebellion (International) 

Dr. Susi Arnott, Biologist and Activist at Scientist for Extinction Rebellion (International)

Professor Bill McGuire, Professor Emeritus of Geophysical & Climate Hazards, University College London (UK)

Professor Alf Hornborg, Professor Emeritus of Human Ecology, Lund University (Sweden)

Professor Markus Wissen, Professor of Socio-Ecological Transformation, Berlin School of Economics and Law (Germany)

Professor Yuri Kazepov, Professor in International Urban Sociology and Compared Welfare Systems, University of Vienna (Austria)

Professor Simon Mohun, Emeritus Professor of Political Economy, Queen Mary University of London (UK)

Professor Susan Himmelweit, Emeritus Professor of Economics, Open University (UK)

Professor Hugh Dunkerley, Professor of Literature and Environment and UCU Climate and Environment Representative, University of Chichester (UK)

Dr Alex Mangold, Sustainability Lead and Climate and UCU Environment Representative, Aberystwyth University (UK)

Dr Glen Cousquer, Lecturer in Conservation and UCU Green Representative, University of Edinburgh

Dr Viktoria R. Mileva, Lecturer in Natural Sciences, Psychology and Cognition and UCU Climate and Environment Representative, University of Stirling (UK)

Dr Mia Gray, Senior University Lecturer in Economic Geography, University of Cambridge (UK)

Dr Hubert Buch-Hanses, Associate Professor of Political Economy, Roskilde University (Denmark)

Dr. Laura Horn, Associate Professor of Social Science and Business, Roskilde University (Denmark)

Dr Lucy van de Wiel, Lecturer and Director of Postgraduate Research in the Department of Global Health & Social Medicine, Kings University London (UK)

Dr Jenny Patient, Postgraduate Researcher on Climate Change, University of Sheffield

Dr Ruth Humphreys, Assistant Professor of Social Science and UCU Green Representative, Heriot-Watt University (UK)

Dr Ian Sturrock, Senior Lecturer in Computing, Engineering & Digital Technologies and UCU Climate and Environment Representative, Teesside University (UK) 

Dr Lawrence Davies, Lecturer in Music and UCU Climate and Environment Representative, Teesside University (UK) 

Dr Elia Valentini, Senior Lecturer in Psychology and UCU Green Representative, University of Essex (UK)

Dr Jane Hindley, Senior Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Studies and UCU Green Representative, University of Essex (UK)

Dr Paul Ferguson, Senior Lecturer in Literature and Culture and UCU Green Representative, University of Cumbria

Dr Megan Wakefield, UCU Green Representative, Solihull College and University Centre (UK)

Dr Michael McKrell, Senior Lecturer in Arts and Media and UCU Green Representative, University of Central Lancashire (UK)

Dr Jim Kaufman, Politics Fellow and UCU Green Representative, University of Salford (UK)

Alison Foster, Lecturer in Trade Union Studies and UCU Green Representative, City of Bristol College (UK)

Eve Merrall, PhD Candidate in Environmental Sciences and UCU Green Representative, University of Liverpool (UK)

Andrew Burton, PhD Candidate in Ecological Theatre and UCU Green Representative, University of Essex

Lydia Merryl, Environment Officer, University College Union (UCU) North-West (UK)

Tony Staunton, Chair, South West Retired Members Branch, University and College Union (UK)

James Staunton-Price, Climate and Ecological Emergency Committee, University and College Union (UK)