Last year we made history with “The Time Is Now”: the biggest ever mass lobby for climate, nature and people.

Voters from Winchester and Chandlers Ford were among the 12,000 people who travelled to Westminster to talk to their MPs about how the UK needs to tackle climate change and nature’s decline.

This year, with Social Distancing in mind, something different was called for.

Church members from Chandlers Ford joined with Winchester constituents to lobby Steve Brine MP for a healthy, green and fair recovery from the current health crisis.

Conducted remotely on Zoom, members of the voting public made it clear that the UK is at a turning point, and the Time is Now for Climate Justice.

Chandlers Ford lobbyists focused on Christian Aid's message, that the climate crisis and the Covid19 pandemic have laid bare and exacerbated the inequalities and injustices within and between countries globally.

The pandemic gives us a huge opportunity to build a fairer and more sustainable system.

A green, just and resilient recovery must mean justice for those living in extreme poverty around the world.

They asked Steve to write to the Prime Minister to call for the government to:

•Champion debt cancellation and increase grants to the world's poorest communities to enable them to build their resilience to both COVID-19 and climate crises, and

•End all public finance for fossil fuels overseas, shifting instead to renewable, efficient energy access for poor communities.

Steve agreed to pass all the concerns on to the Prime Minister and other relevant people.

On a personal note, lobbying from one’s home seems a lot easier, although with much less of a sense of occasion.

Steve Brine was his usual genial self, and listened carefully to the points we put to him.

With the world’s future at stake, we can only hope that the lobby, of which we were a small part, will help convince the government of the importance of the subject and the need to act now.

Brian Ridsdale

Chandlers Ford