One of our fantastic Campaigners recently attended a Stop Climate Chaos coalition (SCC) ‘Climate Connection’ meeting with their local Member of Parliament Ben Bradshaw, MP for Exeter Constituency. The 25 people who attended the meeting came from many of the different member organisations of the coalition and our campaigner Sandra Barrett ensured CAFOD was very well represented…
Our motivation was to ‘Lobby’ our MP Ben Bradshaw about Climate Change issues with emphasis on the talks in Cancun and the proposed Energy Bill plus local initiatives.
Ben was not aware of the ‘Lobby’ and therefore I gave him my ‘Lobby’ pack. He also hadn’t received our letters, which explained our purpose. The letters were probably in a box at the Houses of Parliament and for this he apologised.
We discussed the need for a common climate fund at Cancun, for a legally binding deal, 30% cut in EU emissions by 2020 and UK 40% as our share. Ben commented that China and USA are unlikely to agree this figure.
My brief was similar to that of other development NGOs. We lobbied together saying that in Cancun we would like the government and others to commit funding to allow developing countries (which are the poorest countries in the world) who are already suffering from the effects of climate change, to e able to develop sustainably for the future.
When speaking to Mr Bradshaw we expressed our hopes that the new government honour its commitments to the spending 0.7% of GDP on international development (ODA) as signalled in all of the main political parties manifestos.
We discussed the fact we wanted new sources of aid, additional to those already promised, to be agreed at the Cancun UN Climate talks for developing countries to help them adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change.
The MP for Exeter heard that we are campaigning for a common climate fund under the authority of the UN which is funded by innovative sources for example a tax on aviation and shipping emissions, combined with preventing tax avoidance by businesses and the super-rich. We also discussed the need that this aid should be given as grants rather than loans.
Ben agreed his support for these measures in Parliament and promised to write to Chris Huhne to pressure him to support them in Cancun.
Conclusion: Ben wants us to keep him informed and is keen to hear from us again, but sadly he said he would not sign Early Day Motions (EDMs) or join all-party groups, however in opposition he can help by lobbying his front bench to make sure that Labour has good policies and puts pressure on the Government. He offered to meet us again in 6 months.
Thank you to Ben Bradshaw MP for seeing our ‘Lobbying group’.
CAFOD Representative for Exeter
Quote by Al Gore, former vice president: “Adopting a central organizing principle means embarking on an all-out effort to use every policy and program, every law and institution, to halt the destruction of the environment.”