Manchester Withington residents meet Jeff at virtual climate change lobby

This morning, Jeff Smith MP participated in a virtual climate change lobby with over 20 Manchester Withington constituents.

The first ‘The Time Is Now’ lobby took place on 26 June 2019, with constituents speaking directly to over 380 MPs, including Jeff, and lobbying for climate, nature and people.

This year, as a result of the coronavirus restrictions, campaigners are speaking to MPs virtually and asking them to urge the Government to:

  1. Unleash a clean energy revolution that boosts jobs across the UK, making our transport, power and housing fit for the future
  2. Protect, restore and expand our green and wild spaces; allowing nature to thrive, taking carbon from the air and boosting the nation’s health
  3. Leave no one behind by increasing support to those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change at home and abroad

The Manchester Withington lobby sparked wide discussion, including around home insulation and retrofitting, the need to protect greenfield sites, investment in walking and cycling, green transport, and transitioning away from plane use while protecting jobs.

Constituents also raised points about ensuring new developments meet environmental standards, household recycling, clean energy, protecting natural habitats, food supply chains, and the international context; including the global impact of climate change, ensuring the Government does not support polluters and supports sustainable investment, and that trade deals do not damage environmental protections.

Jeff highlighted Labour’s Green Recovery Consultation, which will run until 20th July. The consultation is open to all members of the public and will help form the basis of Labour’s plan for a green recovery from the coronavirus crisis.

There was much more to say than could be covered in one meeting and it was agreed that similar discussions should be repeated in future.

Jeff said:

“It was great to have the opportunity to speak to many of my constituents about climate change, the most pressing issue of our generation and one that we must prioritise when planning our economic recovery from coronavirus.

“We had a lively and interesting discussion, covering many aspects of climate justice locally, in the UK and abroad. I share the sense of urgency that many of my constituents feel and am keen to take the suggestions from our meeting forward, with more discussion and by feeding into Labour policy and pressuring the Government.

“I’d like to say thank you to Ali Abbas from FoE for helping coordinate our virtual lobby, and to the coalition of climate charities and activists for organising this mass event. The Climate Coalition Declaration has my support and I am committed to playing my part in securing a healthier, greener, fairer future for all.”

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