Members of Extinction Rebellion, environmental groups and concerned constituents met with Gillian Keegan at the end of July after speaking to her and her assistant Lawrence Abel at the Extinction Rebellion protests in London in April and ‘The Time is Now’ protest in June. A number of concerns were raised. Amongst them were the government’s complete lack of urgency in addressing the Climate Crisis, lack of eco-friendly local housing developments, lack of cycling and public transport infrastructure in Chichester and the impact of local festivals such as the Festival of Speed on the planet and our local environment. These points were addressed in turn by Gillian and, whilst some points were noted by the MP for Chichester for further investigation, such as a potential visit to the Centre for Alternative Technology, the overwhelming reaction to the meeting was that of dismay and disappointment from the audience. Mrs Keegan continued to push the current government’s position on the climate crisis – that of taking a lot of time to work out a plan, make sure it still promotes economic growth and then get the people of this country onboard with the plan before implementing it. This clearly is not in line with the urgency that scientists, activists and the general public are demanding of the government to tackle the climate crisis that threatens to reach irreversible and catastrophic levels by 2030. The government, however, insists that we are leading the world in climate action with the commitment to zero net carbon emissions by 2050 being put down in law.
With thanks to George