Climate change campaigners lobby MP

November 8, 2010 10:52 AM
Julian Huppert at climate change lobby

Julian with a string of messages from climate change campaigners

Thirty five Cambridge charities, businesses, community groups, pensioners, students and concerned individuals thronged the law faculty, asking Julian Huppert MP to work for strong measures to be included in forthcoming climate change legislation. This will create jobs, improve health, reduce poverty and protect nature.

The lobby took place at 1pm on November 6, and was one of over 250 similar lobbies across the country on the weekend of November 5 and 5 organised by the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition.

The Cambridge Lobby included representatives from CAFOD, Cambridge Carbon Footprint, Cambridge Architectural Research, Cambridge Hub, the CU Environmental Consulting Society, the CU Student Union Ethical Affairs campaign, Close the Door, Christian Aid, The Creativity Partnership, Diocese of East Anglia, Friends of the Earth, Green Enterprise Community, medSIN, Oxfam, RSPB, the World Development Movement, the Zero Carbon society, pensioners, students and other concerned individuals.

The group thanked Julian Huppert MP for his support of green initiatives so far and presented him with a low energy light bulb as an office warming present, but urged him to push for strong measures to be included in forthcoming legislation. This includes

• The Energy Security and Green Economy Bill which must improve energy efficiency in UK homes and shops.

• The proposed Green Investment Bank, which must invest in green entrepreneurs as well as green infrastructure.

• In the forthcoming climate talks in Cancun, Mexico, the UK must take a lead by ensuring more finance is made available for developing countries to adapt to the effects of climate change, develop low carbon economies and protect forests.

He agreed that we were "heading towards a planetary emergency". He said "This is because CO2 gets into the atmosphere quickly but it takes a very, very long time to come out again, so you have to act now. You can't wait 20 years and then say lets pull it back down again" He agreed that there were lots of things that could be done to cut carbon. Some are very simple, like energy efficiency, others are harder.

He was challenged on the recent changes to the rules on emissions trading schemes in the Comprehensive Spending review, which diverted the proceeds away from green measures and into general taxation. This will affect organisations like Cambridgeshire county council and the University. Andy Brown Director of Cambridge Architectural Research said "The change in the rules has completely changed the economic climate for carbon reduction. How can you talk about being a Green government if you renege on the promises that have already been made and undermine people's intentions?"

At the end he was given a banner with individual messages from all the participants. He promised to follow up on the issues raised and to write to the Prime Minister, David Cameron, Chris Huhne (Secretary of State at DECC) and William Hague (Shadow foreign secretary) in support of the policy demands

Anne Miller, Director of The Creativity Partnership says "Green entrepreneurs are creating jobs and cutting carbon but won't succeed without investment. The Green Investment Bank could help, but it risks being hijacked, delayed or turned into a gimmick"

Tom Bragg, Chair of Cambridge Carbon Footprint says "We want our MP's help to really make this 'the greenest government ever', as Cameron claimed"

Jerry Carr-Brion of Cambridge Oxfam Group says "Across the world poor communities are attempting to adapt to climate change. Money is needed both for adaption and the development of low-carbon energy sources. Cambridge Oxfam Group would like Julian to make sure the government is doing all it can to ensure sufficient funds are available."

Martin Harper of the RSPB said "Climate change threatens an environmental catastrophe. Unless we cut man-made greenhouse gas emissions hard and fast, we will be responsible for a mass extinction event and will threaten the planet's capacity to support our own species. This is why we need action to tackle climate change at home and a fair, ambitious and binding global climate deal. Our elected officials need to provide the leadership their constituents demand".

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