We are discussing the environment and climate change this month on the House of Lords Podcast.
We spoke to two leading environmental campaigners in the House about their perceptions of the recent COP26 conference in Glasgow. We also discuss work in the Lords on the environment, and the balance between personal, government and international responsibilities in combatting climate change.
First up Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle, one of two Green Party members in the Lords, gives us her impressions of the conference, working as one of the smaller parties in the House, plus how it felt to win the first vote on a Green Party amendment in the Lords.
‘There were some important steps, the fact that fossil fuels and coal are actually mentioned in the COP declaration for the first time is important. But we really didn't make the progress that we needed to make in terms of climate finance.’ Baroness Bennett
We also discuss where the conversation on climate change should go next and the role of the Lords.
‘There's a lack of what I would call systems thinking… even if every individual in the world tried to become an environmental saint. The way our systems work, the way things are arranged in our society, the way our economy is arranged, we still wouldn't meet anywhere near the carbon cuts we need.’ Baroness Bennett
We also hear from Baroness Parminter, Chair of the Lords Environment and Climate Change Committee. Baroness Parminter gives her perspective on COP26 and discussing with representatives from parliaments around the world on how to hold their governments to account.
‘We'll be making sure that the pledges that the government have now committed to are actually delivered on the ground. So there's that vital role of scrutiny. But also here in Parliament, we are the democratic body that makes sure that people's voices are heard. And that we are making sure that the questions that the people on the streets want to know are getting answered.’ Baroness Parminter
Baroness Parminter also tells us about upcoming work of the committee and how it felt to lead the charge on the plastic bag levy.
‘When I came in 10 years ago, I was determined to try and make a small contribution to helping make our planet a better place. And when we were in the coalition in 2010 to 2015, I introduced the Lib Dem's policy to support a levy on the plastic bags. And we managed to persuade our Conservative partners in the coalition to deliver that…
‘Over 60% of the action that needs to be taken is around behaviour change. What we eat, how we heat our homes, how we travel, what we buy and what we throw away. And so we need to be looking at how we mobilize people to change their behaviours.’ Baroness Parminter
· Find out more about Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle and follow on Twitter
· Find out more about Baroness Parminter and follow on Twitter
· Find out more about the Lords Environment and Climate Change Committee
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