Oldham East and Saddleworth MP, Debbie Abrahams, has met with five climate change lobbyists from her constituency who were taking part in a 9,000 strong mass lobby of MPs called ‘Speak up for the love of…’ highlighting their deep concerns about the effects of climate change on the world and its most vulnerable people .
Bernie Slater, from Saddleworth, speaking on behalf of the group said: “We were part of the UK’s biggest lobbying event of MP’s ever held about climate change and we were there to ask Debbie, as our MP, to help us urge the government to take action to tackle the devastating effects of climate change before it’s too late. We are already seeing floods, droughts, irregular and extreme weather caused by developed countries, like ours, and excessive use of energy from burning coal, oil and natural gas.”
Debbie, who met the group outside the Houses of Parliament, said: “It was a pleasure to meet with Bernie, Alison, Rosie, Cath and Gennie and talk about these vitally important issues.
“The group spoke so passionately and knowledgeably about the issue of climate change and I told them I will be pursuing this in Parliament. I am applying for a Westminster Hall debate on this issue and submitting questions to Ministers to hold them to the highest levels of scrutiny. It was extremely disappointing that the day after the Parliamentary lobby the Energy Minister announced a premature end to onshore wind subsidies, the cheapest readily available form of clean, renewable energy. I have pursued these points with her in the House of Commons.”
Bernie added: “We were not only speaking for ourselves, but representing family, friends, St Edward’s church, primary school, and CAFOD/Justice & Peace Group, Lees, the CAFOD Action Team for Oldham, Rochdale and Ashton-under-Lyne, the Northern Lights CLC prayer group in Dobcross and the Saddleworth Churches Together Christian Aid Group.
“We appreciated the opportunity to talk to Debbie about our concerns and she listened carefully and seemed very well informed about the issues we raised. She spoke about the worrying effect of car and lorry transport on carbon emissions domestically and the need for better planning and public transport.
“We’re are deeply concerned that if governments don’t act urgently and significantly to halt the harmful effects of climate change the consequences will be dire and irreversible.
“The poor are hit the hardest and their vulnerability means they are least able to recover.
“Over one billion people are already living in extreme poverty, on less than $1.2 a day and 200 million more of them will be at risk of hunger, sickness and death. The hard work and investment by development agencies such as CAFOD, Christian Aid and Oxfam is being undermined and undone. And beautiful and environments we depend on will be irreparably damaged, or lost if we don’t act quickly.
“Climate change is the biggest threat today to all life on earth and is pushing more and more people into poverty. We all need to adapt the way we use energy, and the government needs to lead on global commitments to attain clean, sustainable energy for all. We must care, for the sake of the poor and for future generations. We must all work together to be good stewards of the Earth.
“I have had conversations with people who are climate change sceptics but it’s important to point out the fact that it’s not just us saying this.
“The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) report says it is unequivocal that climate change is occurring and confirms there is at least 95% certainty that human activities are the principal cause.”