On 17 June, Population Matters members gathered together at Westminster in Central London to participate in the Speak Up for the Love Of… Climate Lobby. Our members participated in the event to lobby their Members of Parliament (MPs) about issues related to overpopulation in their local constituencies. The timing of the effort was particularly important — world leaders will soon meet to reach an agreement on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which will shape the future international development agenda.
Shortly before our members joined up with other people from their constituencies, the members gathered together outside the Houses of Parliament to share ideas and inspire each other to push their MPs to take strong action on unsustainable population growth and climate change, which are strongly linked.
Nearly 9,000 people travelled to London from across the United Kingdom to participate in the lobby effort, which is thought to be the biggest on climate change ever held in the country. Since getting so many people into the House of Commons to see their MPs in one afternoon would have been nearly impossible, the majority of MPs came outside to meet their constituents.
Throughout the course of the day, about 20 Population Matters members had an opportunity to speak to their MPs — some even managed to arrange one-to-one meetings. When the members were not busy talking to their MPs, the members handed out leaflets and badges and spoke to other people who were attending the event.
Many attendees visited our stall and expressed strong support for promoting awareness about the relationship between population growth and climate change. A few people commented on our sail flags, which stood out in the crowds. Meeting so many people who were interested in the work we do was fantastic.
The day ended with a rally on Millbank at which we had an opportunity to hear inspiring speeches from a variety of people including comedian Arthur Smith and Olympic rower Andy Hodge.
We hope that our voices will be remembered by our MPs when they are making decisions about the United Kingdom’s role in mitigating the effects of climate change.