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Harpenden pupils lobby Parliament to tackle climate change

PUBLISHED: 15:00 28 June 2019

Molly Barker and Annika Wrentmore from Sir John Lawes School in Harpenden lobbied politicians to tackle climate change. Picture: Andy Aitchison/ Oxfam GB

Molly Barker and Annika Wrentmore from Sir John Lawes School in Harpenden lobbied politicians to tackle climate change. Picture: Andy Aitchison/ Oxfam GB

Andy Aitchison / Oxfam GB

Harpenden pupils and teachers travelled to parliament to urge their MP to take action on climate change.

Chiara Parrella from Sir John Lawes School in Harpenden lobbied politicians to tackle climate change. Picture: Andy Aitchison/ Oxfam GBChiara Parrella from Sir John Lawes School in Harpenden lobbied politicians to tackle climate change. Picture: Andy Aitchison/ Oxfam GB

Staff and pupils from Sir John Lawes School met with Hitchin and Harpenden MP Bim Afolami at a climate change lobby in Westminster last Wednesday.

The lobby, which was attended by thousands of people from around the country, called for politicians to back efforts to halt climate change and pass new laws to benefit people and wildlife.

Manny Fernandez, 47, who teaches citizen and sociology at Sir John Lawes, said: "Our pupil group wanted to be part of this mass lobby of parliament; it was them who arranged a meeting with their MP.

"Personally, as a father and a teacher, I am really concerned with the kind of planet in which our children and their children will be living in years to come."

Teachers Manny Fernandez and Yvonne Anderson from Sir John Lawes School in Harpenden lobbied politicians to tackle climate change. Picture: Andy Aitchison/ Oxfam GBTeachers Manny Fernandez and Yvonne Anderson from Sir John Lawes School in Harpenden lobbied politicians to tackle climate change. Picture: Andy Aitchison/ Oxfam GB

MPs were taken from the Palace of Westminster by rickshaw to meet constituents in the area around parliament. The mass meeting was organised by campaign groups The Climate Coalition and Greener UK.

The lobby was prompted by the government announcing that it will set a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, but campaigners are urging politicians to support UK emissions reaching net zero by 2045.

Molly Barker, a Sir John Lawes pupil who attended on the day, said: "If we don't change our ways, our world could be a very different place, shockingly soon."

Her friend Annika Wrentmore added: "We believe that this is vital to continue our lives normally for decades to come otherwise there will be no world to grow up in for your children's generation and generations to come as it will be destroyed."

Reducing emissions will mean ensuring gases emitted by cars, planes, buildings and farms do not exceed the amount which could be removed from the atmosphere by measures such as tree-planting.

Chiara Parrella, another Sir John Lawes pupil, said: "There is a climate crisis that will have a detrimental effect on my future, unless adults and MPs in the UK don't take responsibility and act quickly.

"We need to limit global temperatures rising to 1.5 degrees before the consequences are irreversible. It is the world's poorest that are suffering the full force of the devastating effects of our actions."

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