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Last modified: 04 November 2010
Image: Andy Hay
Last year they marched on London, this year the Big Climate Connection will see climate campaigners taking their message to MPs’ doorsteps that action on climate change is good for fuel poverty, energy security and a stronger national and global economy.
They will be calling for greater action on energy efficiency and controls on fossil-fuel power plants in the forthcoming Energy Bill, plus a strong finance agreement in the December Cancun international climate talks.
Following on from The Wave in 2009 – the biggest climate protest ever seen in the UK – more than a thousand activists from the Stop Climate Chaos coalition of charities, unions, health, women, faith and community groups are going out into constituencies up and down the country to put the issue back on the political agenda.
The Big Climate Connection, which starts on Friday, will see over a thousand grassroots lobbyists meeting up with MPs in 267 constituencies. As the Coalition Government nears six months in power and the economy dominates political debate, the event will serve as a reminder to politicians that climate change is still the biggest threat to our planet’s people and wildlife.
The lobbyists taking part come from all walks of life and range from teenagers to octogenarians.
Eilleen Edmondson, 88 and an active member of Friends of the Earth Manchester said: "I am so deeply grateful for the beauty of the planet and any thinking person must want not to jeopardise what we've got here. I have always cared for animals and nature and I just want to make a contribution.”
Sadie Britton, from South Thanet, said: "As a mother I have a real responsibility to protect my children’s future on our planet which, through our recklessness, may not be able to provide for their needs in the future. We need to unite and take action locally and globally to hold governments and corporations to account for their action or inaction.”
Martin Harper, Chair of Stop Climate Chaos, said: “The Coalition Government has focused its early efforts in power on resolving the financial crisis. With the UN climate talks in Mexico fast approaching, addressing the global climate crisis needs similar focus and determination. David Cameron has said this Government will be the greenest ever; now is the time to prove it.
“Last year 65,000 people took part in The Wave. We marched across London and Glasgow and showed ministers the strength of public opinion. Now we are heading into the towns, cities and rural constituencies to get the point across to as many MPs as we can.
“This month is a key time for climate politics. Activists will be asking their local MPs to write to David Cameron and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne ahead of the upcoming UK Energy Bill and the United Nations climate talks in Cancun Mexico.
“At Cancun we need to push for progress on helping developing countries adapt to climate change and develop low carbon technologies and back home we need to make sure the UK Energy Bill includes plans for a massive roll-out of energy efficiency measures for homes across the country as well as a CO2 emissions limit on our power stations.
“David Cameron has asked the Big Society to stand up and help the Government tackle the biggest issues our country faces. This is the Big Society standing up and making its voice heard – Mr Cameron needs to be ready to listen.”
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Stop Climate Chaos