Guide to mass lobbying
29 May 2019
Planning to attend The Time is Now mass lobby, but not sure what to expect? Maybe you’re interested but not certain what we’re asking from our leaders? We’ve put together these handy FAQs to answer all your questions before the event on Wednesday 26 June.
What are we lobbying for?
Climate change is one of the biggest threats facing humanity. Climate change destroys our homes and our communities and undoes the years of work we’ve done to fight poverty and injustice. To avoid the worst effects of climate change, we need immediate action on the part of communities, societies and most importantly, governments alike.
We want the UK government to commit to a net zero emissions target. This means reducing our emissions so that overall the amount of greenhouse gas emissions we put into the environment equals how much we are taking out. This summer, the UK government will make big decisions on whether to commit to net zero, as well as vote on ambitious laws which could clean up our air, slash plastic pollution and restore wildlife to our countryside (the Environment Bill).
Why are you calling for net zero by 2045?
A group of independent government advisers, the Committee on Climate Change, recommended that the UK government must set a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 'net zero' by 2050. This report does bring us a step closer to the net zero target we need if we’re to avoid temperature rises exceeding 1.5C, which will spell disaster for the world’s poorest communities. However, as one of the biggest historic carbon emitters, as well as a global leader on climate action, the UK has a responsibility to be the solution to this crisis. We believe it is fair and equitable for the UK to go faster than 2050.
How do I lobby my MP?
The Time is Now mass lobby is a chance to speak to your MP face-to-face. Before attending try and do a bit of research about your MP – what political party do they belong to? How have they voted on climate matters in the past? This is your opportunity to talk about all things climate and environment related. You can talk about net zero emissions and the Environment Bill, but that’s not all! Think about what challenges your local area faces, what experiences you’ve had and what you care most about. That will have most impact and your MP will connect more with a personal story.
How will the lobby line work?
The line leading from parliament will run along both sides of the river Thames by Westminster and over Lambeth bridge. The line will be split into regions and colour coded as per the lobby guide. It will also be well signposted with lots of stewards on hand to help. Within each region, constituencies (your electoral area) will be in alphabetical order. Make sure you have found the other people from your constituency and your spot before the lobby starts at 1pm. Your MP will then be able to use our rickshaw service to come to you.
Who is my MP?
Your MP is the person elected to represent you and other people who live in your local area. If you’re not sure who they are you can search for them using your postcode. This also specifies what constituency you’re in, so you know where to stand at the lobby. Their email address will be listed so make sure you invite them to the lobby. You can use a handy email template.
What if my MP doesn’t turn up?
If your MP has confirmed that they will be attending then they should turn up, however, there is a chance that their plans will change at the last minute. If this is the case, then tweet them to ask why they weren’t there (be sure to use the hashtag #TheTimeIsNow). It’s also worth emailing them to explain why you attended the lobby and request to meet them at your constituency surgery.
What’s the timetable for the day?
- From 9:30am: For those travelling on their own and arriving early, there will be several fantastic interfaith workshops happening in the morning, before the lobby kicks off. Check out what's happening and register on Eventbrite.
- 12:00-13:15: CAFOD is participating in an interfaith event with former Archbishop Rowan Williams from midday. We regret that tickets for this event have now sold out.
- From 13:00: Meet your MP to discuss why you care about climate change and our common home. We'll keep you posted when a brief is available to help you with your conversation.
- 16:00: Close the day with CAFOD’s Mass at Church House to reflect on and celebrate our common home. We regret that tickets for this event have now sold out for those not coming on a coach.
How do I get there?
If you are coming from outside London or the South East, you can join a CAFOD Climate Pilgrimage, or coach service, bringing CAFOD supporters to London from across the country. Check out our Eventbrite to see what’s available.
What should I bring on the day?
At 2pm, while we are gathered in the lobby line, we are going to set off as many alarm clocks as possible.
Please dig out a portable alarm clock to bring with you on the day, and make sure your friends and family attending do too. If you don’t have an alarm clock – don’t worry you can use your phone. Alarm clocks will play a big part in the day.
We highly recommend bringing food and water as well as anything to protect you from the elements such as raincoats or sun cream! But do travel light as you’ll need to have all your belongings with you all day.
What about safety?
The organisers of the event are working closely with police to make the event as safe as possible. The event will have a festival atmosphere and will be family friendly. There will be stewards and security at the event in order to make it as safe and enjoyable as possible. In the event of an emergency follow steward and police instructions and remove yourself from any situation where you feel unsafe.
Is the lobby legal?
The lobby is entirely legal and your democratic right. The lobby is only taking place in pedestrian zones so will not cause any road blockages. The police know that we will be there and we are working alongside them to keep everyone safe. The lobby is family friendly and there will be plenty of stewards to help if you have any issues.