A MAJOR campaign by a coalition of interest groups including the Co-operative Party and Friends of the Earth to persuade the Government to tackle climate change and promote sustainable energy has already attracted the support of 184 MPs.
As part of the year-long initiative designed to increase individual involvement and responsibility and also give local authorities a more defined role in renewable energy, the Party's Head of Campaigns, Hilda Carr, has called on the Party's 8,000-plus members to ensure significant progress on this crucial issue.
In the first phase of the campaign, the Co-op Party hopes to ensure the Bill tabled by Edinburgh North & Leith Co-op MP Mark Lazarowicz – which promotes renewable energy and instructs the Government to report annually to Parliament on progress made – becomes law.
The party is also seeking support for a Bill by Labour MP Alan Whitehead on the management of energy in buildings and is asking members to lobby and write to their MPs to ensure enough MPs attend the first reading of both Bills on Friday November 11.
An Early Day Motion backing the Lazarowicz and Whitehead Bills had been signed by 184 MPs of all parties by the time the House of Commons broke up for its summer recess.
Signatories included 13 other Labour/Co-op MPs and high-profile former ministers such as Robin Cook, Clare Short, John Denham and Michael Meacher.
Ms Carr said the next stage of the campaign will be to persuade the Government to create a Community Energy Unit to co-ordinate local renewable energy initiatives and to press for an annual target to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
Said Ms Carr: "This campaign has really captured the interest of our members and we've already had lots of offers of help in contacting MPs and making sure the two Bills become law.
"We're saying to people that you don't need to be an expert on climate change and environmental issues to take part in the campaign – it is simply about the responsibility we all share towards the planet we live on and the state which we will be leaving it in for generations to come."
Full details of the progress of the campaign can be found at the Party's website www.party.coop