Hope for the Future trustee, Margaret Ainger, reports back on the UK’s biggest ever climate lobby of Parliament.
On Wednesday I attended the biggest mass lobby of MPs ever seen in the UK. 12,000 people arrived in Westminster on a beautiful June afternoon to meet our MPs in the open air next to the Houses of Parliament. Over 300 MPs took the time to come out from their offices and meet us, their constituents, and hear our concerns about Climate Change. So many groups had members there – the National Trust, Green Alliance, The W.I., CAFOD, Christian Aid, the RSPB, Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, WWF etc. - but most people appeared to be just individuals, couples and friends. Ordinary people wanting climate action.
Hope for the Future were there of course. Jo Musker Sherwood led 2 training workshops in the morning to prepare people for the lobby. It was my first opportunity to experience the training. The folk who signed up were savvy and politically aware but I could see that, like me, they were rather taken aback at learning what effective lobbying entails and the amount of research and preparation you need to do if you want to come out with tangible actions agreed, and not just a nice chat. I can see that there is enormous scope to extend the reach of our training and to constantly fine tune it to the changing climate context.
There was a holiday atmosphere to the Walk of Witness, the banners, bright colours, stalls and speakers but our underlying message was clear. We need to act now to save the planet. Can we not all sign up to act on that?
If you would like to know more about Hope for the Future’s lobbying training and how you can access our resources, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.