‘It’s no picnic to live in but you get through it,’ says UK resident

Amita Kuttner, a barrister and UK resident, says the party must address climate change and climate-related migration as the UK prepares to leave the EU

“It’s tough as hell. It’s no picnic to live in,” Amita Kuttner, a barrister and UK resident, said. “But you get through it. You’re coping.”

The 70-year-old London resident was speaking in Fiji on Friday after she attended a meeting of the Shadow Climate Change Committee that said the Labour party must refocus on the environment.

Kuttner told attendees that the Labour party should be “robust” with the public “in terms of challenging them on some of the horrors that are taking place”. She added that climate change was the party’s issue.

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In December, Kuttner wrote to the shadow environment secretary, Barry Gardiner, appealing for the party to better explain its stance on climate change.

She said she had responded to Gardiner’s letter saying: “I do not expect many people will be persuaded. Instead, I would ask you to consider this as evidence that you do need to provide clearer leadership and strategic direction on climate change – both for the long-term benefit of the British people but also, crucially, for the British party.”

Kuttner set a deadline of 26 January 2019, the International Day of the Disappeared and the anniversary of the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Philip Alston,’s assessment of Britain’s laws on human rights, including discrimination and climate change.

“It is essential that we provide a unified front to highlight the harms caused by fossil fuel addiction, including by air pollution, to the climate and also by climate-related migration,” she said.

She also told attendees that climate change constituted the single greatest development challenge. “It impacts everyone on every street, in every community, in every home, every business. So it is not just the political elite and the civil service who need to learn to work together. All of us, everybody, needs to work together.”

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