Rob Paton updates us on the fantastic progress made by Citizens:mk and its future ambitions to go global, or at least England and Wales!
Last September at the Citizens:mk climate assembly, the Bishop of Oxford agreed to a request for a meeting to discuss Climate Income, and whether he might use his position on the House of Lords Climate & Environment Committee to promote the idea. He has a very full schedule, so December was the first available date… and then just beforehand, he suffered a nasty bout of Covid!. Finally, in late April, the meeting took place.
So what happened? Lauren Jeffrey presented our first ‘ask’: we wanted to cite him as a supporter of Climate Income and of our campaign, as we took it national through the network of chapters that make up Citizens UK. Would he consent to this? The reply was immediate – yes indeed (and without us needing to clear statements through his office in advance).
Then our second ‘ask’: would he invite us to the Lords to a meeting, whether formal or informal, as he thought best, to help increase understanding and support for Climate Income among parliamentarians?
Again he replied positively, though not unconditionally. Characteristically thoughtful, he said he needed time to consider when and how the meeting could best be ‘anchored’ in the processes of the Lords (and its Climate and Environment committee in particular – of which he is a member). Then he gave us an important and unexpected bonus – direct access to his two advisors (both of whom were clearly willing, thoughtful, and very well informed on Parliamentary processes as well as climate issues).
It was an intense two hours including some lively exchanges around how to bring the need for rising carbon prices into the policy process and public debate. We left feeling tired but elated. We had an important ally for what we see as our next steps – both locally, and working across the Citizens UK network to spread this word and bring other chapters on board, turning it into a national campaign. All that is needed is lots more hard work! – if you might like to be involved, please get in touch.
To see if there is a Citizens UK chapter in your neck of the woods click here.
Representatives of the Citizens:mk Climate team, L to R: Rev. Catherine Butt (St Frideswides);
Rob Paton (MK Quakers); Lauren Jeffrey (Lakes Estate Renewal Forum); Stephanie Laing, Community Organizer.