Jeff Smith has been meeting regularly with the members of ‘The Time is Now’ campaign coalition since 2019, to discuss concerns from local climate activists. The meetings developed after climate campaigners met Jeff at a lobby of Parliament, and agreed to have an ongoing dialogue about the climate emergency. Meetings have covered a range of topics, and as a result Jeff has followed up issues on behalf of the group and asked a number of questions in Parliament .
This month’s meeting covered insulation, onshore wind, Whitehaven coal mine, water and the impact of tourism. Questions were raised about Avanti’s train service. A poor rail service in the north does little to meet carbon zero emissions, and it is clear that Avanti should not have had contract extended. Labour believe that where companies can’t deliver a decent train service they should lose the franchise. Members also discussed the revised Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan which was submitted in July but not yet been received a response from Government..
As the energy crisis sets in, there is clearly much more that can be done to promote green growth and meeting net zero targets. There are more ways to get involved in the community as well. It was great to learn about local activist group People Place Planet Didsbury and the work they have been doing recently with new carbon literacy programmes. Didsbury has some of the highest carbon emissions in Manchester, and the programmes offer some tools that can help reduce residents’ carbon footprint. You can read more about how to get involved here.