Blog post by Neil from Camden Greenpeace:
How many times have you heard an MP say ‘no one ever speaks to me about climate change’? Well, after this weekend, hundreds of MPs up and down the country can no longer use that excuse for not prioritising action on climate change. As part of the Stop Climate Chaos coalition, supporters of a broad range of environment and development organisations met with our MPs to discuss how we can support them to influence the policies we need to tackle climate change.
We asked for their help to get more action on energy efficiency in homes, controls on carbon emissions from power stations, and financial support for developing countries to adapt to climate change and to develop cleanly. And we will work with them over the next year to help get the action we need.
Together with Camden Greenpeace, members of Camden Friends of the Earth met our two local MPs Glenda Jackson, MP for Hampstead and Kilburn and Frank Dobson, MP for Holborn and St Pancras on Saturday 6 November.
Lobbying Glenda Jackson MP:
Lobbying Frank Dobson MP:
We asked Frank Dobson, MP for Holborn & St Pancras:
1) On Energy Efficiency we’d like your support to make sure the Energy Bill that is being introduced in Parliament later this year is strong enough to both deliver the carbon cuts necessary and protect low-income households from rising fuel bills. We need to see an end to cold homes by 2020 and more immediate action on the worst housing, which is largely in the private rented sector.
Mr Dobson responded:
“I support a more ambitious Green Deal, and better insulation for homes. It’s all gain – it saves money and creates jobs, not in China, but here in the UK. People living in crap accommodation are usually paying a fortune to keep cold in winter. Energy efficiency is straightforward. I’m in favour of major measures on insulation.”
2) On carbon emissions from power plants we need the Energy Bill to include limits on carbon pollution from coal and gas power plants to meet carbon reduction targets within the Climate Change Act.
Mr Dobson responded:
“I would probably support an Emissions Performance Standard for coal and gas power plants. I’m concerned by the low thermal efficiency of conventional power stations. We’re converting less than half the energy in coal to electricity. I’m also concerned about the energy efficiency of carbon capture and storage. We need to massively improve the energy efficiency of what we burn to make energy.”
3) On international climate finance we want to see UK leadership at the forthcoming international climate talks in Cancun. We particularly want the Government to support new and innovative ways of raising finance, such as an international levy on air flights or a small financial transaction tax.
Mr Dobson responded:
“I’m in favour of, not a marginal, but a very substantial tax on all financial transactions. It’s better if we say let’s make it 5% – it’s not very much for HSBC, but it is an awful lot for the rest of us. We need to raise the stakes. Some of that money could be devoted to the purpose of [international climate finance].”
We asked Mr Dobson if he would write to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change to pass on our concerns and express his support for the measures we suggested. He said that he will think about writing, but can not guarantee it. He was concerned that his efforts would be discounted by David Cameron. However he did say, “There may be better ways to bring pressure to bear, and I’m quite happy to take part in campaigns to do that.”
We agreed that this was the beginning of a dialogue, and we will be arranging a further meeting in a few months to discuss progress and how we can move forward. We may not have agreed on all issues and methods, but we have certainly made a good connection with our MP and raised the issue of climate change.
To find out how to connect with your MP to discuss climate change and the issues that matter to you, visit: http://www.stopclimatechaos.org/the-big-connection
To find out more about how you can get involved with lobbying local MPs or other activities with Camden Friends of the Earth please contact us!
Read more about Camden Greenpeace at