Burnley folk lobby Parliament to put climate at forefront of nation's recovery

A small, but committed group of Burnley constituents took part in the first virtual mass lobby of Parliament.
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Three members of Good Samaritan Parish CAFOD group met with Burnley MP, Antony Higginbotham, as part of the Climate Coalition’s “The Time is Now” online lobby of MPs, calling for a greener, more just recovery from the global pandemic.

Anne Marie Coppock, David Ross and Dominic Aunger met with Antony Higginbotham at the end of June via Zoom.

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The online lobby was part of the Climate Coalition’s national campaign, which encouraged people across the UK to meet up virtually with their MPs to let them know the time is now for our politicians to put people, climate and nature at the heart of our nation’s recovery.

The Zoom lobbyThe Zoom lobby
The Zoom lobby

The Climate Coalition is a coalition of many different charities and organisations, such as Oxfam, Christian Aid, CAFOD, Greenpeace, National Trust, the WI and the WWF, campaigning to urge the UK Government to help combat the global climate crisis.

CAFOD key volunteer and one of the three constituents Dominic Aunger said: “During the virtual lobby, we wanted to ask Antony Higginbotham to press the Government to unleash investment in climate and nature-friendly infrastructure so as to create jobs and support millions out of the recession; put nature on the path to recovery at home and abroad; as well as support the most vulnerable at home and abroad.

“This year needs to be a turning point where world leaders urgently reframe their thinking for the years ahead and recognise that eradicating poverty, tackling the climate crisis and restoring our natural environment are all interconnected”.

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Last year Dominic and his daughter visited London to take part in the biggest mass lobby of Parliament, where over 12,000 people gathered as part of the Climate Coalition’s event to press the Government to tackle the climate crisis. Last year over 330 MPs were lobbied and this year’s virtual lobby has so far reached over 250 MPs.

During their online meeting, the group stressed how the climate crisis has even affected the Burnley constituency, with increasing incidences of flooding, particularly in Padiham. However, the biggest impacts of this crisis are seen in the global south, where changing weather patterns have led to crop failures and extreme droughts in countries who have contributed least to global emissions.

Shortly after the lobby, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, announced around £3 billion of investment to cut emissions in the UK. £2 billion of this investment has been allocated for home insulation grants.

These announcements were welcomed by the climate lobbyists, but they now want the Government to invest even more in a greener recovery and ensure the UK stays on track to reach net zero emissions by 2045. This is particularly important as the UK ought to be an example for other nations to follow, as it will be hosting the UN Climate Conference next year in Glasgow.