Creating the political will for change can come in many forms – protest, demonstrations, passive resistance. All peaceful methods have their place. Having a good relationship with your MP is the cornerstone of CCL’s activism, and an email or letter is a ideal first contact.
You can either email, post a letter or message them via the bottom of the page (with thanks to Write to Them).
Never contacted your MP before? Find yourself stalling or worrying about what to say (or not to say)?
Here’s how to fire off that first contact. (hint: remember MPs are human, and: keep it simple.)
NB please copy in/forward to [email protected] so we can support you and keep track of contact with MPs.
Dear [MP name]
I live in [name of city/town/village] and am concerned about climate change because [give your reasons].
What are your concerns about climate change?
I know it’s hard to know the best way to cut greenhouse gas emissions [and get us to Net Zero*].
I’ve heard of something called Climate Income, supported by economists, which could cut emissions by a sizeable amount, have you? (If you haven’t, read this: citizensclimatelobby.uk/climate-income)
What do you think of it?
Looking forward to your reply.
[Your first and last name, etc]
[Your full address and postcode]
[Your phone number and email address]
*Use this for a Conservative MP.
In your first letter it’s really important to establish a connection, and your credentials as a local. You must include your name and address or they will have no obligation to respond to you. Open with a question and you will more likely have a conversation, rather than lots of reasons why you are wrong.
Above all, keep it friendly and respectful, even if they have voted or campaigned for something you find abhorrent.
If you can compliment them on some constituency or government work they have done or statement they have made, so much the better. They are human beings and will respond so much better to praise and manners than insults and tellings off.
Now – and this is really important – don’t be put off or demotivated by a cut-and-paste response. That’s standard for a first letter. If probably won’t be very relevant to what you’ve asked with a list of things their party is doing about climate change.
Ignore the the irrelevant stuff, but do praise them on any relevant stuff (even if you think it’s not going to work or not be enough), reply, to what they have said, in a positive fashion. Ask them if they think current initiatives will be enough to save our liveable world. Build up to asking them for a meeting. Keep going.
Find out about your MP – joining their mailing list, visit their website, follow them on social media, find out what they’ve said in parliament.
The more you know about them, the more you know how to frame your questions.
Finish this and you have levelled up to a meeting!