As we launch a manifesto for a greener future, CPRE staff and supporters join a virtual mass climate lobby

1st July 2020

The 2020 version of The Climate Coalition’s The Time Is Now mass lobby moved online, and, on the eve of CPRE’s manifesto for a green future, we joined thousands in asking MPs for climate action.

CPRE is a member of The Climate Coalition, a consortium of organisations working for urgent action on the climate emergency. 2019 saw the first mass lobby event, with people from all over the country pouring into Westminster to meet with their MPs and call for change. Some 65 CPRE supporters and staff took part in asking the government for net-zero legislation in an exciting and positive event.

Naturally we were keen to be involved again, with the 2020 event moving online due to coronavirus. We used the chance to meet directly with MPs to call for a green, fair and healthy recovery from the pandemic – the themes we cover in our brand new manifesto for the future, which outlines recommendations for ways to regenerate ourselves, our green spaces and our communities.

An online movement

Over a thousand of our supporters signed up to take part in the event on 30 June 2020, a sizeable chunk of the 13,000 total. The day itself saw over 200 MP meetings taking part (with one of our supporters reporting 36 people on their call), with even more planned in the coming days and weeks, and there were also stimulating talks on a virtual event ‘main stage’. This included a great discussion chaired by Springwatch’s Gillian Burke about why diverse voices must be heard in the shaping of the recovery, aligned with our ongoing work on a countryside for everyone.

The day was a terrific success, with positive conversations and optimism for the future. One CPRE supporter reported that their call had 18 attendees and their MP was ‘engaged and apparently in tune with a lot of what people were saying’. Another commented that their MP showed fierce support for the planning system, highlighting its role in local democracy – another area where we at CPRE are working hard to ensure the best future for all. The same MP was also positive about greener building and retrofitting homes for carbon efficiency, and speculated about what would happen if all those who’d appreciated nature during lockdown (as evidenced by our recent research) now put pressure on the government to improve planning policies.

'... their MP showed fierce support for the planning system, highlighting its role in local democracy...'
A CPRE supporter commenting on their MP meeting

Another supporter joined a call with 24 others for a wide-ranging discussion with their MP, who showed support for a ring-fenced rural transport fund – something else that CPRE has been calling for.

CPRE campaigns to the fore

It’s great to know that the areas that we’re campaigning in, and will continue to meet with MPs about, are also uppermost in the minds of those who represent us in parliament. Led by our manifesto for a regenerated post-coronavirus future, we’ll keep advocating for a greener future and urging that our recommendations for green spaces, rural economies and wellbeing are taken up.

Want to be a part of our exciting movement for the countryside? Join us as a member now, donate to help our campaigning work or read more about the areas that we’re working in. And if you took part in the Time Is Now mass lobby on 30 June, do fill in our very short survey to let us know how it went for you. Thank you!

Laptop with cup of tea and other callers on screen