On 17th June, around 100 climate campaigners from Hornsey and Wood Green descended on Westminster to meet with our new MP, Catherine West. It was all part of the Speak Up mass lobby of parliament organised by the Climate Coalition. Lots of Muswell Hill Sustainability Group members came along.
We lobbied Catherine West on local, national and international issues. We informed her of our local Divestment Campaign, calling on Haringey to end its pension fund investments in coal and tar sands. We also outlined our national priorities, calling for a step increase in energy efficiency programmes, and a commitment to a major increase in renewable energy. Both of these are under threat with the new Conservative government. Internationally, we highlighted that climate issues will compound the refugee crisis, and that it is essential that richer countries donate more funding to the Green Climate Fund which supports developing countries mitigate against and adapt to climate change.
Catherine West listened to our concerns for 30 minutes. She signed our Divestment Petition and said that she would add her voice to our campaign. She recognised the issues around insulating homes in London, particularly those in the private rented sector. We discussed fracking, and she stated that she hoped the planning application to frack in Lancashire will be rejected. She is concerned about the risks involved in fracking, though she didn’t say that she opposed it outright. We also discussed airport expansion – she said she was opposed to expansion at Heathrow due to pollution concerns, but was open-minded towards Gatwick or Stansted. Overall it was a useful discussion and Catherine West certainly must have left with no doubts about how concerned her constituents are about climate change.