LOCAL RESIDENTS have been lobbying Debbie Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, to urge her to take action on tackling climate change.
Members from the local faith community of Oldham and the surrounding areas met the MP at Gallery Oldham to lobby her about climate change as part of a national campaign.
The group which included representatives from aid agency CAFOD, local justice and peace groups and churches, discussed how climate issues effect communities both nationally and internationally.
They raised issues specifically about their concerns regarding the effect climate change is having, especially on the poorest, most vulnerable people in the world.
They also discussed their concerns about our excessive use of energy from fossil fuels and lack of investment and drive to move to renewable wind, solar, and water energy.
Debbie Abrahams MP said: “We must continue to speak up about environmental issues as they affect us all wherever we live and it’s the poor and vulnerable who are hit hardest.
“Here in the UK, over the last few years, we’ve seen the evidence of our changing climate with an increase of flooding which devastates communities.
“I have raised my concerns about the Government’s undermining policies on, for example, subsidies for renewable and low carbon technologies.
“This approach seems incompatible to me given the Government’s proclaimed ambitions at the Paris climate change talks.”
This event was part of the Climate Coalition’s Speak Up week of action, which saw thousands of people meet their MPs across the country in the week of 8-16 October.
CAFOD campaigner, Bernie Slater said: “We would like to thank Ms Abrahams for all her past support for justice, peace, and poverty issues we’ve communicated about.
“We ask her to do all she can to ensure progress for those suffering in developing countries as a result of our excesses and to take actions to protect our planet for future generations.
“We would specifically like her to take two key actions: to push for the government to develop the low carbon investment plan and for DIFD to invest much further in preparing poor communities for extreme weather, whilst further investing in decentralised renewable energy.”
Alison Brittle, a volunteer from Justice and Peace, added: “We have just had visitors in our community from El Salvador to talk about how they are suffering the effects of climate change.
“Rainfall has become unpredictable and less frequent, so much so that crops they rely on for food and to sell are failing, and the situation worsens each year.”
CAFOD is part of The Climate Coalition, a collection of over 100 organisations who represent more than 11 million people across the UK dedicated to action on climate change and limiting its impact on the world’s poorest communities.
CAFOD representative in Salford, Ann Wilson, said: “Increasingly we are seeing the impact the changing climate is having on the people, places and things we love.
“People from across the country are coming together and uniting to send a really strong message to their MPs that they really do care about climate change.
“It is thanks to the commitment, hard work, and passion of local people who have helped to raise awareness in their own communities and we want to say a massive thank you.”
To find out more, visit: cafod.org.uk