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Virtual mass lobby on climate 25 June 2020

Virtual mass lobby of MPs on climate change – 30th June 2020


By Malachy Campbell

If you are concerned about climate change then you can join in the virtual mass lobby of MPs that is being organised by The Climate Coalition on 30th June 2020. The Climate Coalition is inviting people to email their MP to ask them to join an online meeting on 30th June, to talk about the need to ensure that the plan for rebuilding society after coronavirus is a healthy, green and fair one. You can find out who your MP is here, and don’t worry if you haven’t done anything like this before as there is lots more information available on The Climate Coalition website here, including a guide to setting up an online meeting and what to say when you first email your MP and at subsequent stages in the process. What is important is that your MP can hear from you, their constituent, about your experience and your view of climate change and you can do this from the comfort of your own home, or wherever you might be online.

Life has changed dramatically since the coronavirus pandemic hit. Many people have lost their lives, many have lost their livelihoods and the lives of many others have been changed dramatically. There is a growing sense that when we try to reconstruct our society and our lives we need to do so in a different way. We must not just go back to the way things were but should build back better.

Since the lockdown, many of us will have re–evaluated and/or (re)discovered the importance of family and friends, access to green space, a walk on a beach or in the mountains, going for a run, reading, painting, being creative…..of taking time out to do whatever makes you happy. That growing sense of the need for change was reflected by a recent opinion poll conducted by Lucid Talk for RSPB NI which found that 74% of respondents want new laws and policies to better protect nature, while 75% have appreciated access to local green spaces since the crisis began and over 50% are now more inclined to vote for a political party that prioritises investment in nature–rich green spaces. An earlier opinion poll for RSPB from February 2020 found that 83% of respondents want Northern Ireland to have an independent Environmental Protection Agency, 74% are in favour of introducing a Climate Change Act in NI and 68% agree that NI should have a target to reach net zero emissions by 2045. Currently, Northern Ireland is the only region in the UK and Ireland without a Climate Change Act to help tackle the global crisis.

That level of support for a climate change act in Northern Ireland is really important because we know that NI needs to do more to tackle climate change. This is illustrated by the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions figures for 1990–2018 released by DAERA on 16th June which showed NI’s GHG emissions fell by 2% from 2017 to 2018, to a level 20% below the base year of 1990. By comparison, the UK reduced emissions by 43% between 1990 and 2018 with England reducing emissions by 46%, Scotland by 45% and Wales by 31%.

So, if you want to see a different society and different economy being built, why not join the mass lobby on 30th June and tell your MP how you feel. This mass lobby offers you an opportunity to add your voice to the call to build a resilient economy that benefits society by reducing inequality, that tackles climate change, stops and hopefully reverses the decline in habitats and species, that creates jobs in renewable resources and protects the most vulnerable at home and around the world. The time is now.