People in Southampton want urgent political action on environment and climate change

On Wednesday 26th June, thousands of people from across the country visited Westminster for face-to-face meetings with their MP
  • 76% of people from Southampton are demanding urgent political action to combat climate change and protect the natural environment 
  • 73% want their local MP to support ambitious plans to protect the natural environment and tackle climate change  
  • 83% think that tackling climate change and protecting the natural environment are issues of concern for all generations 

Southampton, UK – A clear majority (76%) of local people want to see urgent political action to combat climate change and protect the natural environment, according to new research from The Climate Coalition and Greener UK. Against a backdrop of increasingly dire warnings of temperature rises and species extinction, almost three quarters in Southampton (73%) also want their MP to support ambitious plans to tackle these twin challenges.  

The research also highlights how climate change and the environment have become mainstream issues in Southampton. Over three quarters (82%) of people in Southampton acknowledge that science shows a clear need for urgent action on climate change and the natural environment, while the vast majority (83%) see these issues as transcending generations, from children, to parents, and grandparents.   

In response to the climate and environmental crisis and growing public support for political action, a mass lobby of parliament called The Time Is Now took place on Wednesday 26th June. It was organised by The Climate Coalition and Greener UK, which together consist of over 130 organisations including The Wildlife Trusts, CAFOD, the Women’s Institute, the National Trust, RSPB, WWF, Friends of the Earth, and Christian Aid. More than 14,000 people representing 99% of constituencies intended to come to Westminster to meet their local MP and demand urgent action on climate change and nature’s recovery.    

As the government sets a target in national law for ending the UK’s contribution to climate change by 2050, the survey found that three quarters (77%) of people in Southampton believe the UK needs to cut its carbon emissions to zero within the next few decades. The research also revealed that a majority of Southampton residents are committed to strong new environmental laws. 7 in 10 (73%) said the government needs to pass a new environment bill urgently, with legally binding targets that create a healthier environment.  

Commenting on the findings and formation of the mass lobby, Debbie Tann, Chief Executive at Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, said:   

“The government’s decision to set a net zero target in law was clearly a response to calls for action from voters which have grown louder and louder in recent months. Now we need our politicians to pass a strong Environment Bill which puts nature’s recovery at its heart.

Creating a Nature Recovery Network of joined up wild spaces on land and sea would help wildlife return to our counties and play an important part in tackling the ecological and climate crisis facing us all.  

“The numbers in this poll make clear the scale of support for action locally. Next week let’s make sure that we show our MPs what this support looks like in person.”  

Chief Executive of The Wildlife Trusts, Stephanie Hilborne OBE, said:

The thousands of people coming together for the mass lobby are a small fraction of the millions who are crying out for government leadership on nature’s recovery. An ambitious Environment Act is desperately needed. This must establish a law requiring maps and plans to be drawn up to restore our rivers, towns and countryside to life – to establish a Nature Recovery Network – and funding must be directed towards this. Only this will reverse the catastrophic declines in the abundance of wildlife. Only this can ensure vast areas of our towns, cities and countryside come back to life.  Urgent action is needed for a Wilder Future. The Time is Now.”

NOTES TO EDITORS  

Research 

Research conducted by Opinium on 04.06.19, surveying 2,009 UK adults.  

About The Time Is Now 

The event, which will take place in the area surrounding the Palace of Westminster, is being organised by campaign groups The Climate Coalition and Greener UK. The two coalitions consist of more than 130 organisations representing over 15 million people – ranging from aid agencies such as CAFOD and Christian Aid to community groups such as the Women’s Institute and environmental organisations such as WWF and RSPB.  

The mass lobby was planned to take place between 13:00-16:00 BST on Wednesday 26 June 2019 in the area around the Palace of Westminster. Hundreds of MPs were to be taken by rickshaw to meet thousands of constituents urging politicians to get the UK on track to halting UK climate change emissions by 2045 at the latest, and to protect the environment through urgently passing an ambitious environment bill. 

Around 14,000 people from across almost all constituencies in the UK signed up to travel to Westminster for the lobby to talk to their MP.  

Further information on the mass lobby can be found at thetimeisnowmap.co.uk.  

About The Climate Coalition  

The Climate Coalition is a collection of over 130 organisations representing more than 15 million people across the UK dedicated to protecting things that could be lost to climate change and limiting its impact on the world’s poorest communities. Coalition member organisations range from aid agencies such as CAFOD and Christian Aid to community groups such as the Women’s Institute and conservation bodies such as WWF and RSPB. 

About Greener UK  

Greener UK is a group of 14 major environmental organisations with a combined public membership of over 8 million people. Co-ordinated by Green Alliance, member organisations include the Campaign to Protect Rural England, the National Trust, the Marine Conservation Society, RSPB and the Woodland Trust.