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Huhne hears our climate requests

By Clare Groves | 26 May 2011

Meeting Chris Huhne

After our colleagues in Oxford started Christian Aid Week by meeting David Cameron, it's fitting that we wrapped up the week by lobbying another key decision-maker. 

Last Friday, as Christian Aid staff and supporters were preparing to hang up their collecting buckets and start the celebrations (or collapse in a heap!), a small group of us were meeting with Chris Huhne, the energy and climate change secretary, in his Eastleigh constituency.

This was just one of four meetings taking place that day to lobby key government ministers on climate change. We were joining up with Stop Climate Chaos coalition supporters to take climate issues to the heart of government!

Mid-afternoon we met fellow climate campaigners from Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, and crammed ourselves into Huhne’s office.

We started off by thanking him for his recent acceptance of the independent Climate Change Committee’s advice to commit to new emission reduction targets for 2025 and beyond – something that more than 2,500 of you asked the government for this month.

We then asked him to strengthen the energy bill, and support our call for the UK government to show global leadership on climate change.

Specifically, we told him we needed the UK to help developing countries respond to climate change and reduce poverty by demanding that the World Bank stop investing in fossil fuels.

With us was Srinivas Krishnaswamy, a Christian Aid partner from the Vasudha Foundation in India, who is an expert in energy projects and low-carbon development.

He had been visiting us all week, and this was a great opportunity for him tell the climate change secretary about his experiences of tackling energy poverty and the need for investment in renewable power for all.

He showed us a map of all the coal-fired power plants in India – and explained that the areas of the country where the power plants are all crammed in are the very areas where more than 90% of the population have no access to electricity.

This is a shocking injustice.

We asked Chris Huhne to help create strong, cross-government support for the World Bank to invest in providing clean, safe energy sources for the world’s poor.

We’re pleased to report that he agreed with us, and promised to take this issue up with Andrew Mitchell, the international development secretary, and the British representative at the World Bank, soon.

This is a step in the right direction. Of course, we'll follow up to check that these important conversations take place within government.

We also heard that one of Huhne's constituent's had posted a Christian Aid Week envelope to his house, and planned to lobby him on the issues when he went to collect it - so Huhne will have had a double lobby on our World Bank campaign this week!

Take action!

Act now!Write to your MP and urge the UK to keep the pressure on the World Bank. No fossil-fuel loans!

 

No more fossil-fuel loans!

Urge the UK to keep up the pressure on the World Bank.

Email your MP!

About the author

Clare Groves

Clare Fussell is a campaigns officer for Christian Aid


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