This is a copy of the letter the RSPB's Youth council sent to the Prime Minister conveying everyone's support for 'The InConvinience Stores' campaign stunt and action.
10 Downing Street,
12 July 2021
Dear Prime Minister,
On behalf of the RSPB Youth council, the RSPB and everyone who supports us, thank you for showing your strong support in tackling climate change and the nature crisis. Working against problems as big as these, it means a great deal to have our government showing clear ambition to meet the challenge facing us. Although the pandemic has hindered our global response to climate change, we are still hopeful we can achieve the changes needed this year to provide a safe future.
It has been made clear that humans will not be able to survive the effects of climate change if we don’t slow down the rate of change, and that any temperature rise above 1.5 C will have catastrophic effects. Likewise, nature is still declining at an alarming rate and species that should be an everyday part of our lives are at risk of extinction. In truth, this terrifies us. Only in recent years has eco-anxiety become an issue where - predominantly young people - are scared by the idea that our planet could become inhospitable. We need someone who is willing to break the cycle - we need a strong leader who can help soothe our fears.
We want to live in a peaceful and sustainable world where we can protect what we love and have more of it. Hearing stories of what nature used to be like is truly sad as humans are often the root cause of the damage. Humans are the apex predator on Earth which comes with a huge responsibility to look after all the other species as well as our home. People often forget or try to seclude themselves from nature, but we are a part of this world and everything is interconnected and interdependent. In recent years, several scientific studies have shown the direct benefit of nature on our wellbeing, especially our mental health, which became apparent during the pandemic. A world without nature would not be one that we could happily live in.
As climate change accelerates, we will become even more reliant on nature, so protecting it is an investment in our future. Covid-19 has shown that pandemics are very much a threat to global stability, but it has also proven that events such as these are possible and more probable for the future. Our lives are only just beginning to return to normal thanks to the vaccine, but without natural biodiversity the vaccine wouldn’t have been possible. Taking action to save ecosystems is simply a long-term investment which has the potential to bring more wealth to the world.
Our current pathway is one that is unsustainable. This world will survive but humans will not be capable of adapting fast enough. At this rate we will become yet another species to go extinct on this planet. A world affected by climate change and nature loss will only see more inequality and poverty as well as suffering and conflict. This is not a world that we want to be a part of nor would we want our children to be affected by. Surely, it is better to prevent than it is to fix.
As our Prime Minister you are the face of the country and represent all who live here, but you also have a responsibility to safeguard the future of this country too. We know that you recognise the crisis facing us, committing to putting nature on the path to recovery by 2030 both in the Leader’s Pledge for Nature and the G7 Nature Compact. However, words will not save the world. We need powerful action in order to spark a global response. We need to stop being selfish and look at not just a national scale but a temporal one too. The next 30 years will decide the fate of this entire world and all of our futures. Our Government could genuinely be the first one to leave the country in a better state than they received it in. Not only this, but you could show the world that we’re not afraid to stand up for what’s right, just like we’ve done before. Humans are capable of creating huge changes when we work together and when we aspire to make a difference for the future rather than the present.
The time is now to take action not just for us but for the next generation of people who will live in this country. Let’s become the country that unites the world in solving the nature and climate crisis.
To raise awareness of the nature crisis, the RSPB opened 'The InConvenience Store' in Cardiff, Edinburgh, and Manchester from 1st-8th July. These pop-up shops showed people a glimpse of the shopping experience of a future where nature's recovery wasn't secured. The shops stocked a range of survival items that we hope we never need to put in our baskets, including: clean air and water because nature isn't there to clean it for us; sandbags because nature is no longer there to provide flood defences; hugely expensive fruit and vegetables because pollinators have disappeared; and recordings of birdsong because nature’s greatest musicians have all but disappeared. People were shocked by this possibility and want you to help. Over 105,000 people supported the campaign and helped compile a physical basket of these goods to be delivered to you with a message calling on you to be a global leader, setting an example other countries will follow, and putting in place targets for nature’s recovery at every level of government. (We were unable to deliver it due to COVID restrictions being extended, which is why we are sending you this letter.)
The public are behind you - now it’s up to you.
We would welcome the opportunity to meet with you or the Secretary of State for DEFRA, to discuss this is more detail.
RSPB Youth Council and Beccy Speight, CEO
We spend 90% of net income on conservation, public education and advocacy
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© The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity: England and Wales no. 207076, Scotland no. SC037654
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