On Friday 15 September, local parents of the Dacorum group Parents For Future UK held a meeting at Open Door with Liberal Democrat and Green Party parliamentary candidates, Victoria Collins and Paul De Hoest. Conservative MP, Gagan Mohindra was invited but did not respond or attend.
The meeting was arranged to discuss stopping new oil and gas licences to protect a liveable home for all children, and ensuring everybody will be warm this winter. They also discussed what could be done locally to halt the impacts of climate and nature collapse.
Dacorum Parents For Future UK arranged this as part of a series of parent-led climate actions across the UK in collaboration with the Warm This Winter campaign and planned in solidarity with the Global Youth Strikes taking place across the world the same weekend. The climate crisis is escalating and in response so is the global movement for climate justice. Across the globe, every day people, including parents, are coming together to fight back against the fossil fuel industry and its enablers.
These parent-led actions come in the wake of the government backtracking on climate and environmental policies in recent months, including the granting of hundreds of new oil and gas licences, a proposed delay in the phase out of gas boilers, and a review of low-traffic neighbourhoods.
Parents for Future is instead calling on the government to stop all new oil and gas licences, including the controversial Rosebank oil field off the Scottish coast, and invest in insulating homes and renewable energy to bring down energy bills at the same time as tackling climate change.
PFF Dacorum members had an engaging conversation with Victoria and Paul who expressed their full support for the key demands of the Warm this Winter campaign. They also agreed to sign the petition to Stop Rosebank oil field, which if developed would produce more pollution than the lowest 28 income countries in the world, and blows past UK’s climate targets for the oil and gas industry. It also would not reduce our bills or provide energy security.
During the discussion, both shared how their personal objectives and party goals are aligned to the campaigns. They also discussed local issues including the worsening condition of our rivers and sewage systems. Parents For Future Dacorum shared concerns for protecting nature for our children, and ensuring that their future’s are safe.
This was one of many events taking place across the UK across 15-17 September, with a focus on demand a rapid, just, and equitable end to fossil fuels. Parents For Future Dacorum also attended marches and mother’s circles in London on the Saturday and Sunday.
Rachelle, a PFF Dacorum member, said: ‘It was great meeting Paul and Victoria today. It gave me some hope in knowing that there are politicians out there who do care about the future of our children and are fighting for a sustainable planet. I’m tired of my MP not responding to me or my concerns, so it was nice for Victoria and Paul to listen to mine. Rishi Sunak is condemning our children to a bleak future by backtracking on environmental policies and pursuing new oil and gas fields. Our children deserve a liveable future, and our representatives must do more to protect that for them.’
Imogen, another member, said: ‘This was a great introduction to climate action for me, as a new member of Parents For Future. It was really good to meet Paul and Victoria and to hear their support for the Warm this Winter pledge. I felt inspired to be part of constructive discussions about the climate with our parliamentary candidates and it felt good to take positive action on practical ways to address the climate crisis.’
Victoria Collins, Lib Dem local parliamentary candidate, said: ‘Decisions made over the next decade will either make or break our planet. How we live our daily lives, and how we provide energy, needs to be developed in light of the climate emergency which includes the oil and gas sector. We must drive down our reliance on fossil fuels and encourage investment in green technology. At the same time, it’s a travesty that so many households and individuals remain in fuel poverty and the picture is worsening. We clearly need a better approach to our energy sector for our planet and people.
‘As Liberal Democrats we were the first party to call on oil and gas companies to pay a proper windfall tax to help struggling families and called on the government repeatedly to scrap the energy price hike. We support building more renewable energy, such as wind and solar power, the proven way of cutting people’s bills while generating clean energy as well as upgrading insulation in all existing homes.
Paul De Hoest, Green Party parliamentary candidate, said: ‘I’d like to praise the campaigning work of Parents For Future on the vital issues of energy and heating security for families. It is an outrage that in the 6th largest economy, in the 21st century, we still have literally millions of children brought up in families having to choose between food and fuel for heating every winter. I am proud to support the four demands of the Warm This Winter campaign and the Green Party has long called for greater support to assist families insulate their homes so as to keep warm and reduce bills.
‘The Government focuses on issuing new North Sea drilling licenses such as Rosebank and Cambo that do nothing for our energy security or reducing bills. The Green Party calls upon the Government to stop subsidising new oil and gas development and to promote greater development of alternative energy sources to create genuine energy security for all. The Green Party has long called for greater support to assist families insulate their homes so as to keep warm and reduce bills. To pay for this support the Green Party also calls for windfall taxes on global fossil fuel companies that have shamelessly used the energy crisis to line the pockets of their shareholders rather than help out their customers.’