On Friday 27 November, three young supporters of local charity Winchester Action on Climate Change (WinACC) delivered a letter to 10 Downing Street signed by 750 local people, in support of a strong and binding world-wide plan to tackle disastrous global warming.  

It calls on UK Prime Minister David Cameron who is going to the UN Climate Conference that starts on 30 November, to press for the conference  to agree practical and far-reaching actions that each country commits itself to carry out.  

2015 is forecast to be the hottest year on record, beating the previous record set last year. Scientists, campaigners and all who care for the future of life on earth hope that such an agreement by the leaders of almost 200 countries will be enough to keep global warming below 2 degrees C. Already, the planet's temperature is probably 1 degree hotter than it was 250 years ago. Unless we take drastic action at once, it will take less than 50 years to heat up another degree risking catastrophic climate change. 

The WinACC letter has been signed by, among others, Councillor Roy Perry, Chairman of Hampshire County Council; Councillors from Winchester City Council including the Leader Stephen Godfrey, portfolio-holder for the environment Councillor Frank Pearson and shadow portfolio-holder for the environment Councillor Anne Weir; Baroness Celia Thomas of Winchester and the Earl of Selborne, who chairs the House of Lords Select Committee on Science & Technology; Corhampton and Meonstoke Parish Council, Droxford Parish Council and Old Alresford Parish Council; Debbie Tann, Chief Executive of Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust; Natalie Webb, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Winchester District; Alan Lovell, Chair of the Consumer Council for Water; Councillor Keith House, leader of Eastleigh Borough Council;  local academics and teachers including Professors David Knight and Bob Whitmarsh, Tom Burden Headmaster of the Pilgrims' School, Stephen Carville, Principal, and other teachers of Peter Symonds College, Matthew Leeming Headteacher of Kings' School, Dr Ralph Townsend Headmaster of Winchester College and Joy Carter, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Winchester; and faith leaders including Canon Roly Riem of Winchester Cathedral.

The Right Reverend the Bishop of Winchester Tim Dakin has also made a statement of support to WinACC and its work. 

The three 17-year olds who went to 10 Downing Street are all students at Peter Symonds college. Carys Jones wants to study Environmental Science at university. “I am determined to make a difference to people's attitudes to environmental protection” she said, “and I'm excited to be taking this letter to David Cameron because global climate change is the greatest threat to life on earth”. Emily Cox, who studies Environmental Science, says that she hopes to work in television one day, and is dedicated to showing the world that climate change is the biggest problem that we face.  Tom Storey-Angell wants to study Politics and Economics at university. He hopes to one day influence the UK's decisions and prevent climate change. 

This is what the letter said:

Dear Prime Minister

Winchester Action on Climate Change and all the undersigned,  as representatives of the people of Winchester District, support the pledge you made in February to seek a fair, strong, legally binding, global climate deal which limits global temperature rise to below 2oC as the world comes together at the international conference in Paris this November.

As you have made clear, climate change is one of the most serious threats facing the world today. It is a threat to the environment, to global security, to health and prosperity and the eradication of poverty.  2015 offers a unique opportunity to act to reach an agreement on tackling climate change.

We hope you will see this as a real opportunity to demonstrate British leadership in Europe and the wider world.

The Paris conference agreement is vital to the future of life on this planet. We urge you and your Government to make sure that Britain does all in its power to ensure a successful outcome.

See the Government's reply.

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