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Paul Powlesland is elected to the Bar Council on a climate action mandate that advocates ‘Justice for All’

Paul Powlesland is elected to the Bar Council on a climate action mandate that advocates ‘Justice for All’

By Paul Powlesland

When I was born, CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere were 348 parts per million. This year, the concentration rose to 421 PPM; the highest levels seen in 3 to 5 million years and far higher than any level previously experienced by human civilisation. The climate and ecological crises this simple fact gives rise to will be the single most important part of all our lives, whether we know it yet or not.

I believe the discussion must go beyond making chambers and their buildings net zero. We must stop advancing the interests of a fossil fuel industry committing the greatest crime in human history. Otherwise, the actions of the Bar will directly contribute to civilisational collapse and the deaths of hundreds of millions of people around the globe. The Bar has the potential to stand against or be complicit in this future.

Bumblebee in the Roding Valley Meadows - Credit to Kevin Grieve

That's why I applied for and am happy to be elected to the Bar Council, on the single issue of raising awareness of and debating the issue of the climate and ecological emergencies. Being given a democratic mandate from the profession for this activism means I will seek to encourage the Bar Council, to use its intelligence, influence and courage to assist with the changes required:

● Ensuring that the Bar steps up to act in a way that is commensurate with the scale of the threat, which is enormous and severe

● Necessarily including climate justice, intergenerational justice and ecological justice (giving nature rights and a voice within our legal system)

I pledge to hold in-person debates and discussion in the best traditions of the Bar, to begin exploring these difficult questions, and welcome contact either on Twitter to via the Lawyers for Nature contact form in order to facilitate this. Please select 'Legal from the drop down menu, and I will endeavour to respond to your request for debate as soon as I am able.

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