Katie Cox and Sarah Woolf with Lilian Greenwood MP ©UNICEF UK/2012/Katie Cox
Today we visited our MP for Nottingham South, Lilian Greenwood, on behalf of UNICEF UK. Our objective was for her to agree to talk to Caroline Flint, the Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, about the Green Climate Fund. As neither of us had visited an MP before, we were slightly apprehensive about meeting Lilian, however she quickly put us at our ease and seemed interested in what we had to say.
We began by explaining the ways in which climate change affects children, emphasising that 175 million children will be affected each year in the next decade by cyclones, floods, bad harvests and other climate-related changes. We then provided Lilian with some individual case studies for her to read at her leisure after the meeting.
After outlining the problem, we discussed the Green Climate Fund and the international talks on climate change at the end of November. We explained that the government needs to commit new money to the Green Climate Fund before these talks. We were really pleased that Lilian agreed to ask Caroline Flint to raise this issue in parliament and to ask for it to be included in any future Labour manifesto.
In the second half of the meeting we had a discussion about the issues we had raised. One of Lilian’s main concerns was funding; we talked about the importance of finding new money and suggested the taxation of shipping fuels as one possible solution. The Robin Hood tax was also highlighted as a possibility and we emphasised that this had already been highly successful in France.
Lilian was very supportive of UNICEF UK’s Speak Up for Children campaign and we feel this has been a really successful visit. We are very much looking forward to hearing back from Lilian, following her discussion with Caroline Flint.
From today’s experience, we would definitely recommend visiting or writing to your local MP about protecting children from the devastating effects of climate change – it really can make a difference and it is not all that daunting!
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This post was written by Katie Cox, UNICEF on Campus Regional Coordinator for the Midlands and
UNICEF on Campus Schools Liaison Officer at the University of
Nottingham; and Sarah Woolf, UNICEF on Campus Vice President at the
University of Nottingham.