On Tuesday 30 June thousands are participating in a virtual lobby of parliament, asking MPs to put people, climate and nature at the heart of national recovery from the coronavirus. The virtual lobby is being organised by the Climate Coalition, a grouping of over 100 member organisations, including CAFOD and Christian Aid.
They say, that as the UK builds back from the current health crisis, there is an opportunity to build a resilient economy that benefits everyone in society and tackles both climate change and the degradation of the natural world. Also, that creates jobs and protects the most vulnerable people in the UK and globally.
The Government will be lobbied to invest in climate and nature-friendly infrastructure, creating jobs and supporting millions of people out of recession. It could provide energy-efficiency funding for buildings, as promised in its election manifesto, and build on this to make all homes energy efficient by 2030. Increasing investment in better provision for walking and cycling, and public transport, is urged, along with bringing forward the phaseout of new petrol and diesel cars and vans to 2030 to protect health and make the air cleaner. Ensuring that any Covid-19 financial rescue packages for companies are granted on strict conditions that align to the 1.5-degree commitment in the Paris Climate Agreement is another demand.
The second element of the lobby is to help nature recover. Setting world-leading targets for nature's restoration in the Environment Bill, delivering an ambitious Agriculture Bill and investing in a nature recovery network will increase everyone's access to green and wild space. Putting sustainability at the heart of future trade policy will guarantee in law that food imports through future trade deals will uphold environmental, food safety and animal welfare standards in the UK. Reducing the global impact of UK consumption by requiring companies by law to ensure the sustainability of their supply chains will reduce our global footprint.
The third element of the lobby is support for the most vulnerable abroad. This will include championing debt cancellation and an increase in grants to the world's poorest communities to enable them to build resilience to both the COVID-19 and climate crises. There is a call to end all UK public finance for fossil fuels overseas, shifting instead to renewable, efficient energy and energy access for poor communities.
The Climate Coalition highlights that this is an important time. #TheTimeIsNow to put a healthy, greener, fairer future at the heart of plans to rebuild from the coronavirus crisis.
So far, 12,600 people have signed up and 150 MP meetings have so far been confirmed.
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