Campaigners lobby MP over climate change

CLIMATE change activists lobbied Bethnal Green and Bow MP Rushanara Ali to call for greater action on climate change nationally and internationally.

The meeting at the Bethnal Green Mission Church on Cambridge Heath Road was part of the national Big Climate Connection campaign which saw 1,500 people across the country lobbying 250 MPs around the country.

Stephanie Delany from the Bethnal Green group said: “The meeting was an extremely positive one. The group engaged in active discussion about climate change with Ms Ali, who was interested in, and responded to, all of the issues raised.”

She said they asked the Labour MP to act in three areas.

They called for all homes in the constituency to be properly insulated so they become more energy efficient and said they were concerned that a large proportion of homes in Tower Hamlets fail to meet Decent Homes Standards, and unlike other parts of the country the borough’s CO2 emissions have risen since 2005.

Ms Delany said: “The group stated that improving local housing will reduce the high costs many local residents pay to keep their homes warm, help people stay in good health and reduce the borough’s carbon emissions. The group stressed that this initiative should provide employment for local people.”

They also asked Ms Ali who is Shadow Secretary of State for International Development to push for strong measures to be included in the forthcoming Energy Bill. Internationally, the group wants the UK to take a lead in the upcoming UN climate talks in Cancun, Mexico.

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Ms Ali recently returned from a climate change tribunal in Bangladesh urged the group to lobby Tower Hamlets’ new mayor Lutfur Rahman and the chief executive Kevan Collins to help push for better funding for housing.

Ms Delany said: “Ms Ali also expressed the concern that many people in Tower Hamlets do not see how their actions in the UK affect countries such as Bangladesh, where changes in global climate have a direct impact on peoples’ livelihoods.”

The group will meet her again in four months for a progress report to see what progress she has made in response to their requests.

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