Thank you to everyone who organised and/or attended a special Climate Coalition ‘Speak Up Week of Action’ event last week across the diocese!
In Southampton Mike Willcox organised an afternoon where local people could discuss and share ideas about climate change.
Louise Croll and supporters from Waterside parish met with Julian Lewis MP for New Forest East.
Kevin Fry organised a question and answer session with Damian Hinds MP for East Hampshire in Petersfield. Kevin told us that 40 people attended which is great! The meeting was also featured in the Petersfield Post.
Sir Gerald Howarth MP for Aldershot met with around 30 CAFOD and Christian Aid supporters for tea and cakes last Friday night and Paula Medd organised a meeting with Penny Mordaunt MP for Portsmouth North.
Last but not least – our very own Laura Bigoni and Simon Bond (from Maidenhead Quakers) met with Theresa May MP for Maidenhead and our Prime Minister.
As you know, the Climate Coalition, is the UK’s largest group of people dedicated to action on climate change and to limiting its impact on the world’s poorest communities. Its combined number of supporters in 100+ member organisations is more than 15 million people.
All the events and meetings that were held that week were done so to show our love for all the things we could lose to the impacts of climate change; and to ask politicians to put aside their differences,and commit publicly to do whatever is necessary to protect us and the things we love.
You may remember that back in June last year nearly 10,000 people met hundreds of MPs at Westminster to discuss how we could work together to tackle climate change locally, nationally and internationally. We called for a global climate deal, a phase out of polluting coal plants, and a cross-government plan to get back on track with our climate commitments.
The great news is, the Government responded quickly. The UK announced it would phase out unabated coal by 2025, becoming the first industrialised country to do so. Thanks to encouragement from people like us all over the world, 195 countries have signed a landmark climate agreement in Paris which aims to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C. The UK has fought for this for many years and at last we have won this together.
At last week’s meetings we asked our MPs to congratulate the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy for rapid progress on ratifying the Paris Climate Agreement. In doing so we will join a group of leading countries bringing the Paris deal into the full force of the law and we will be following many other countries including China and USA.
We also asked our MPs to table a parliamentary question asking the Department for International Development (DFID) to increase investment in decentralised renewable energy to benefit the world’s poorest.
One in five of our brothers and sisters around the world currently don’t have the electricity they need to power schools, clinics, homes and businesses. We know that increased investment in decentralised, renewable energy can tackle climate change and poverty overseas. But currently DFID spends under 15% of its total energy support in development countries on access for poor people. We should change this as local renewable sources of energy are the most affordable way of reaching the poorest people – they most often live in very rural areas and extending the energy grid would in most cases be too expensive, take too long and be politically challenging.
And finally we asked our representatives to write to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy asking him to publish an ambitious low-carbon investment plan to transform the economy in line with the Climate Change Act.
We hope this plan can attract investment, seize the opportunities in many sectors including transport and help deliver warm homes for all and clean, safe power.
Thank you everyone for taking part and do let us know what responses you receive from your MPs.