Friday, September 22, 2006

Pester power

Clutching at straws this may be; still, we should celebrate small victories.

I have been lobbying my MP, the Conservative James Arbuthnot, about the environment for about a year now. My letters on climate change and calling for a Marine Bill have always been courteously answered; but Mr Arbuthnot has been rather non-committal. On climate change especially, he has tended to hide behind his Party's review of energy policy as a way of doing nothing.

Then last week I sent him an e-mail urging him to add his name to the Parliamentary Early Day Motion in favour of urgent action to fight global warming (see EDM text below). I made it personal, pointing out the scale of the problem and his good fortune in being able, as an elected MP, to do something about it.

This morning, Mr Arbuthnot e-mailed me back: "Thank you for your email. I do appreciate your continuing concerns overthis matter. You will be pleased to hear that I have reconsidered and after a good deal of thought have decided to sign EDM 178."

So well done the Right Hon Member for North-East Hampshire! Proof that lobbying politicians can make a difference...


Meacher, Michael

That this House agrees with the Government's Chief Scientific Adviser that climate change is a threat to civilisation; welcomes the cross-party agreement in favour of major cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, and particularly in carbon dioxide emissions, by 2050; believes that such a long-term target will best be met through a series of more regular milestones; and therefore notes the Climate Change Bill that was presented by a cross-party group of honourable Members in the final days before the General Election, and hopes that such a Bill will be brought forward in this Parliament so that annual cuts in carbon dioxide emissions of 3 per cent. can be delivered in a framework that includes regular reporting and new scrutiny and corrective processes.


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