Climate protesters descend on Parliament

| 26th June 2019
Climate Coalition and Greener UK expect thousands of people from across the UK to attend today's Time Is Now lobby.


Thousands of people are set to gather in Westminster today to lobby their MPs on taking action on climate change and environmental protection.

Organisers say more than 15,000 people from 99 percent of the UK's constituencies have signed up for the Time Is Now lobby to urge politicians to "tackle the climate and environmental emergency immediately".

It is organised by the Climate Coalition and Greener UK, whose members include aid agencies such as Cafod and Oxfam, the Women's Institute and conservation organisations such as WWF and the National Trust.


The mass lobby follows growing environmental protests and increasing warnings of the need for "unprecedented action" to curb dangerous climate change and the threats faced by wildlife and the natural world.

MPs have approved a motion to declare an environment and climate emergency, and the lobby comes on the day the Lords debate a target to cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, which should pass into law this week. Campaigners will be pushing their MPs to back the policies needed to turn the new net zero target into a reality.

They want an ambitious Environment Bill to clean up polluted air, tackle plastic pollution and restore nature, with legally binding targets and a powerful independent watchdog to enforce environmental laws.

Sarah Osborn, a primary school teacher from Cambridge who will be attending with Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire Wildlife Trust, said she values wildlife and is concerned children are disconnected from the natural world.

"I believe in the vital role nature plays in our mental health. We are in a state of crisis and I am deeply concerned about the future of the planet," she said.


Grandmother Ann Hayward from Wendover, Buckinghamshire said: "I am lobbying my MP because I am ashamed of what he and his colleagues are leaving behind for my grandchildren - a failing climate, huge biodiversity losses, huge financial debts for unwanted infrastructure projects which will all undermine their futures."

MPs will be taken from Parliament by rickshaw to meet their constituents stationed around the area, and more than 300 people from different faiths will be led on a walk of witness through Whitehall.

At 2pm, campaigners will ring thousands of alarm clocks, mobile phone alarms and sirens, alongside church bells in the area, to symbolise "the time is now" to act, organisers said.

Clara Goldsmith, campaigns director at The Climate Coalition, said: "The Government's decision to set a net zero target in law was clearly a response to calls for action from voters which have grown louder and louder in recent months.

"Now we need our politicians to put policies in place to deliver on that target, as well as measures to clean up the air we breathe and the plastic in our seas."

This Author

Emily Beament is the Press Association environment correspondent. Image of protest in the USA (c) Alisdare Hickson

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