Henry Smith MP has heard from his constituents, who were among an estimated 12,000 people lobbying their MPs for urgent action on the natural environment and climate change.
In the largest ever environmental lobby of Parliament, people from all corners of the UK were represented, with at least 300 MPs coming out to meet with their constituents. The Crawley MP met constituents in the area surrounding the Palace of Westminster.
The day also saw leaders from different faith communities, including former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, gather for a ‘Walk of Witness’ from Trafalgar Square down Whitehall.
‘The Time is Now’ lobby was organised on Wednesday, 26th June, by The Climate Coalition and Greener UK, two coalitions combining more than 130 organisations and representing over 15 million people – ranging from aid agencies CAFOD, Christian Aid and Islamic Relief to community groups including the Women’s Institute and environmental organisations such as WWF, National Trust and Friends of the Earth. It follows global environmental protests, and the declaration of a climate and environment emergency by the UK Parliament.
“As always it was good to meet my constituents at the biggest ever mass lobby for climate, nature and people. I heard their views and I fully agree with them – The Time Is Now for action in order to create a cleaner and healthier world.
“It is clear that the climate and environmental concern is a mainstream issue held dear by many of my constituents, and from people all across the country. I’ll continue working to make sure their voice is heard in Parliament at this critical moment for climate, nature and people.”
Shaun Spiers, Chair of Greener UK, commented;
“The broad range of people and organisations supporting the lobby shows the feeling across the country that urgent action is needed, starting with an ambitious Environment Bill and policies that put us on track for net zero emissions by 2045. The time to act is now.”
Tanya Steele, Chief Executive at WWF, added;
“Public concern for the environment is at an all-time high, and for good reason. We are destroying the planet, and jeopardising the survival of people and wildlife. Our leaders must make bold decisions now and commit to invest in technology and policies that accelerate emissions reductions and put nature on the path to recovery.”
Hilary McGrady, Director-General of the National Trust, said;
“It is incredibly encouraging to see so many people here today, standing up for nature together. I’ve seen first-hand the impact of nature’s decline and a changing climate on our fields and forests, built heritage and beaches – from species of wildlife diminishing to erratic weather damaging our historic properties. We’re working hard to restore nature and find ways to adapt but are facing increasingly tougher challenges.
“It doesn’t have to be this way. We can be the first generation that leaves our seas cleaner, cities less polluted, and wild places healthier than when we found them. But to do so, we need the government to take urgent action.”