Last week, Jeff Smith MP joined leading charities and businesses at a Parliamentary event showcasing cutting-edge solutions to tackle climate change.
Groups including The Women’s Institute, Save the Children, Christian Aid and the National Trust presented MPs and Peers with a ‘marketplace’ of tried and tested ideas – ranging from saltmarsh restoration to community energy schemes – to demonstrate the breadth of cutting-edge technologies and practices available and to encourage a scaling up of solutions in the UK and overseas.
The specially selected projects are already empowering local people, bringing back nature, helping farmers transition to climate-friendly practices, and preparing the hardest hit places for more extreme weather.
Speaking at the event were Chair of the Climate Change Committee, Lord Deben; Hilary McGrady, Director General of the National Trust; Anthony Browne MP; and Climate Adaptation Minister Jo Churchill MP.
Organisers The Climate Coalition, a collective of 140 organisations representing 22 million people, launched its new ’Secure, Fair and Green: A Plan for Climate, Nature, and People’ and called for the Climate Change Committee’s recommendations to be implemented. The group also highlighted that public appetite for action on climate change remains high, despite the pressures on people’s everyday lives.
Jeff Smith MP said:
“Recent data from the IPCC and from the Government’s Chief Scientific Officer should be a stark wake-up call to policymakers – we need to immediately accelerate our progress toward net zero and set more ambitious targets if we are to mitigate the most catastrophic impacts of the climate crisis. The public know this, and are seeing it with their own eyes as we experience an extreme and unprecedented heatwave in the UK.
“But there are many innovative solutions out there which should be a cause for hope and can help, and it was great to learn about many of them in Parliament. We now need the Government to take notice and push forward their widespread roll out.”
Hilary McGrady, Director General of the National Trust, said:
“It was encouraging to see so many politicians at the event on Wednesday. These projects are just a snapshot of some of the game-changing climate solutions that are already being put into practice, and by supporting these ideas, both at home and abroad, MPs can play their part in tackling climate change and improving people’s lives.
“The research keeps telling us how important climate action is to the public, and they want to see practical solutions – from heating our homes in environmentally friendly ways to protecting wildlife. This public demand for action remains despite the challenges faced by rising prices and bills. The two are in fact interlinked, and action to reduce emissions can help to improve both our environment and our prosperity, now and in the future.”
The Westminster Climate Solutions Fair took place for the first time this year. It encouraged MPs and their constituents to participate in The Great Big Green Week (24 September – 2 October), a celebration of action to tackle the climate and nature crises which last year involved 5,000 events and 200,000 people.