Climate Change

SURREY County Council declared a climate change emergency last week, as Extinction Rebellion protesters staged a “die-in” outside County Hall.

Extinction Rebellion protesters lie sprawled outside County Hall as part of a “Die-in”

Climate change campaigners lay sprawled on the ground outside the council offices, ahead of councillors arriving for their meeting. The protestors, wearing animal masks, were highlighting the loss of species and damage to human life support systems, caused by increasing carbon emissions.

Three months before, the council had angered protesters by refusing to back a pledge to meet targets and declare an emergency in a motion put forward by Green Cllr Jonathan Essex.

This time, a Climate Emergency Motion, with the aim of going carbon neutral by 2050, was put forward by Conservative Cllr Mike Goodman, cabinet member for environment, and seconded by Liberal Democrat Cllr Will Forster, and gained cross-party support.

“After trying to get Surrey to move forward on its climate commitments earlier this year, we’ve finally got some progress,” said Cllr Essex after the meeting.

For the full story get the 18 July edition of the News & Mail

WOKING climate change activists took part in a 12,000-strong lobby of MPs at Parliament calling for immediate action to help the environment.

Woking MP Jonathan Lord was among 225 MPs who accepted an invitation to answer questions on what the government was doing to combat global warming.

Activists, including Emma Gallagher, with Woking MP Jonathan Lord

He was invited by 18-year-old Emma Gallagher, from West Byfleet, who is a volunteer with the charity CAFOD. The organisers of the lobby last Wednesday were led by Greener UK and the Climate Coalition, with help from many other organisations, including Surrey Wildlife Trust.

Emma, a philosophy student at Durham University, said Mr Lord answered the questions posed by about 60 people from in and around Woking.

“Many were frustrated by his response about what the Government has done so far,” Emma said.

“Brexit has dominated the current political situation. Look at the current heatwave; we can see the impact of climate change,” she said.

Emma said that the Government was setting targets but there were questions as to whether the deadlines were too long and action wasn’t being taken.

“Corals are being bleached. Fossil fuels are being burnt. But small and incremental changes can make a difference, so whether its ditching single use plastic or speaking to your MP about climate change, do it – every little helps, but the time for these changes, is now.”

For the full story get the 4 July edition of the News & Mail

AN invitation to Woking MP Jonathan Lord from an 18-year-old West Byfleet constituent will see him taking a rickshaw ride to meet campaigners from across the UK for a mass climate lobby in Westminster.

Emma Gallagher, a Durham University student whose home is in West Byfleet, sent the offer to Mr Lord as a volunteer with CAFOD (Catholic Agency For Overseas Development).

CAFOD climate champion Emma Gallagher

Mr Lord told the News & Mail this week that he has accepted the invitation.

More than 10,000 people from almost every constituency in the UK are expected to travel to Westminster on 26 June and Mr Lord will be among the MPs being taken by rickshaw to the rally to meet constituents urging politicians to back their call to halt UK climate change emissions and to support action to protect the environment.

Emma, who is attending with other local CAFOD supporters – from sixth form pupils to grandparents – said: “As a champion we want to show in general how important it is for young people to get on board with the campaign. I wrote to Jonathan Lord because we want MPs to know this is something that we want them to get involved with.”

A member of Our Lady Help Of Christians Church, Emma had been following her own research into climate change when she said: “It dawned on me how important it was in relation to my faith to do something to stop climate change. So as I wanted to get involved and so I became a champion for CAFOD.

“I hope the mass lobby prompts action and shows that we have the capability to do something. The political state of the UK right now may be uncertain, but climate change is a brute certainty we have to awake to.”

She said spaces are still available on coaches departing from towns across the UK to the rally and more information is available at https://cafod.org.uk/Campaign/Climate/Climate-lobby  .

For the full story get the 13 June edition of the News & Mail