From the Gazette series:
Gloucestershire MEPs from across political spectrum line up to support fight against climate change
See full illustrated article online here:
6 Oct 2016 / Jamie Wiseman, Reporter / @jamiewisemansnj
POLITICIANS from across the political spectrum have signed up in support of rapid and effective action to combat climate change.
Three MEPs from the Conservative, Labour and Green parties have signed up to support Gloucestershire Climate Action Network (GlosCAN).
The group is calling on elected politicians to challenge the Government to make the UK’s climate policy match up to the global objectives agreed in Paris last year.
This also includes supporting public transport improvements, renewable energy projects and opposing things like airport expansion and fossil fuel extraction, including fracking.
Unsurprisingly one of the first to sign up was Molly Scott Cato, a Green MEP for the South West who lives in Stroud and has worked closely with the group before.
“I am delighted to support local organisations such as GlosCAN that raise awareness of not only the problem but also the potential solution within our communities,” she said.
Conservative Julie Girling, MEP for South West England, also pledged to support the fight against climate change.
She said: “Climate Change is a huge challenge, a global problem that must be addressed. I welcome GlosCAN’s initiative and will work with them to achieve their goals.”
Her Labour counterpart Clare Moody, said: “Climate Change is one of the biggest challenges that we face, which is why I welcome organisations like GlosCAN that are dedicated to furthering the science based debate and action that is so badly needed to address this global problem,” she said.
“The South West can and should be a source of many of the solutions to climate change but, post the Leave referendum result, campaigns like GlosCAN are essential to ensure the government not only deliver on their Paris promises but also support the green energy industry in our region.”
The three other MEPs in the South West who were contacted did not sign up to support GlosCAN.
Of the three Conservative MPs in Gloucestershire that were contacted – not a single one decided to sign up.
While Stroud MP Neil Carmichael did praise the organisation for its ongoing work, he did not fully support its aims.
He said: “GlosCAN is the type of local, autonomous and grassroots based movement that can make a real difference.
“It is particularly encouraging that GlosCAN has begun by stating the obvious and fundamental positions so often lost in the high academic language of climate science.
“GlosCAN’s starting points are simple and straightforward, the aims inclusive and effective; together, I am confident these values will allow for strong local progress to be made.”
Hugh Richards, chair of GlosCAN, said: “It is good to know that elected politicians from opposing parties support our aims, which include raising awareness of the inadequacies of the current global and national commitments on climate change.
“We will continue to engage with them and challenge the Government to make the UK’s climate policy match up to the global objectives agreed in Paris last year.
“Locally, we will campaign for actions that will help Gloucestershire do its bit to meet these objectives.
“That will mean supporting things like public transport improvements and renewable energy projects and opposing things like airport expansion and fossil fuel extraction, including fracking.
He continued: “Climate change has not been in the news much this year, but we know from national opinion polls that a big majority of people in this country are concerned about climate change.
“We hope that more people in Gloucestershire will want to express their concern by signing up to our aims and become registered supporters.
“It only takes a few minutes and we don’t ask for money or personal details.
“It’s great that some public figures are now signing up, but as Neil Carmichael says, we are a grassroots organisation and the more supporters we have, the more powerful our campaigning will be.”
Gloucestershire Climate Action Network is an entirely volunteer-run, self-funded, non-party-political campaigning group, with a network of registered supporters who agree with our ‘Starting Points’ and ‘Aims’.