Herefordshire Wildlife Trust join The Time is Now mass lobby

Herefordshire constituents head to Westminster for mass nature and climate change meeting outside Parliament but local MPs don’t show up.

Herefordshire Wildlife Trust staff and supporters travelled to Westminster to meet with their local MPs, Bill Wiggin and Jesse Norman, at one of the largest mass lobbies of politicians in recent history.

"It was great to join with like-minded organisations and individuals for the day to highlight the current environmental crisis and need for immediate action." Helen Stace

The group made the journey to London on Wednesday 26 June, along with fellow constituents. There, they joined thousands of people from around the country – from school children, young people and wildlife volunteers to farmers, councillors and doctors – urging MPs to back immediate action for wildlife and climate change.

The meeting took place following a call last month from the government’s climate advisers for the UK to set a more ambitious target for eliminating the emissions driving dangerous temperature rises and ahead of Parliament debating a new Environment Bill. The Wildlife Trusts believe that the bill must deliver ambitious targets for wildlife and a legally-binding Nature Recovery Network.

The event, which took place in the area surrounding the Palace of Westminster, was organised by campaign groups The Climate Coalition and Greener UK. The two coalitions consist of more than 130 organisations representing over 15 million people – ranging from aid agencies such as CAFOD and Christian Aid to community groups such as the Women’s Institute and conservation bodies such as The Wildlife Trusts.

Unfortunately, though over 200 MPs came out to speak to their constituents in the lobby line, neither Herefordshire MP made it. Bill Wiggin MP did invite his constituents to meet with him in a Westminster committee room and 14 left the group on the lobby line to spend 45 minutes discussing the issues with him.  We did not receive any response from Jesse Norman MP.

Herefordshire Wildlife Trust’s chief executive Helen Stace said: “It was great to join with like-minded organisations and individuals for the day to highlight the current environmental crisis and need for immediate action. Over half of our UK species of wildlife are in decline and we need a strong Environment Act with ambitious targets if we are going to be able to reverse these trends.  This needs to place obligations to act on all departments of Government, provide for the implementation of a Nature Recovery Network and set up a strong independent environmental watchdog to monitor and drive progress.”

The Time is Now mass lobby took place following numerous reports emphasising the need for urgent action. The most recent, from the IPBES, showed that nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history — and the rate of species extinctions is accelerating, with grave impacts on people around the world now likely.

The government has said the UK will set a target of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases to ‘net zero’ by 2050. Campaigners argue the government should show greater ambition and set a 2045 date in recognition of falling costs, technological developments and the need for urgency.

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Group with placards with the Thames and Houses of Parliament in the background

Image credit: Trevor Hulme