Array of NGOs unite for 'mass lobby' of MPs, designed to build political momentum ahead of Paris Summit
Thousands of campaigners from businesses, NGOs, churches, and community groups will today call on their MPs to step up their commitment to tackling climate change, as part of a 'mass lobby' of Westminster.
The initiative, which is being organised by the Climate Coalition group of NGOs, will see what is being described as the UK's 'biggest ever climate change lobby' meet face-to-face with their MPs.
All of the UK's 650 MPs have received a request to meet with some of their constituents tomorrow to discuss climate-related issues, as part of the initiative.
The group said meetings will take place with a wide range of people, including "anglers, bee keepers, snowboarders, surfers, doctors, wildlife enthusiasts, grandparents, nuns, priests and farmers".
"Everyone has a stake in beating climate change," said David Nussbaum, chief executive of WWF-UK. "And everybody has a role to play. For a long time, scientists, business leaders and the public have understood the severity of the threat. At today's Speak Up event, MPs will experience the depth of feeling that not enough has yet been done, and the breadth of support for strong action from this new Parliament."
He added that the event was designed to raise the profile of climate change with MPs during a critical year for international climate change negotiations.
"2015 is a year when all politicians can make a difference," he said, referring to the upcoming UN Paris Summit in December when world leaders are expected to agree a new climate change deal. "It's time to embrace a low-carbon economy that works for people and the planet."
Specifically, the Climate Coalition is calling on MPs to work together to deliver a new low-carbon infrastructure plan, covering energy and transport and the restoration of nature.
The group will argue that the plan should include support for an ambitious Paris climate deal and UN Sustainable Development Goals, a commitment to phasing out unabated coal power in the UK by 2023, and a pledge to make two million of the UK's low-income homes highly efficient by 2020, and all six million low-income homes highly efficient by 2025.
"Climate change is already happening and forcing the world's poorest people into living a life of hunger," said Nick Bryer, Oxfam's head of UK campaigns. "Our politicians should be left in no doubt that the public see climate change as a global problem that affects us all and that we expect them to act in this important year to secure a safer future."
Groups attending the lobby will include WWF UK, Greenpeace, Oxfam, CAFOD, Christian Aid, Women's Institute, Friends of the Earth, Tearfund, Surfers against Sewage, Angling Trust, Wildlife Trust, Medsin, Islamic Relief, and World Jewish Relief, as well as a number of business representatives.
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