We need a fair and green recovery plan from the coronavirus pandemic, so that we can create a more sustainable, equal world for everyone.

16 Jul 2020

An important way of demonstrating this is by making sure our MPs hear that their constituents are calling for a green and fair recovery. MPs can then go on to represent your views in the House of Commons and put pressure on the government to listen.

MPs are due to go on their summer break on 22 July, and we need them to hear from us before they go.

Meeting with your MP is one of the most impactful things you can do to create change. And it doesn’t have to be scary or time intensive. Read our easy step by step guide below to show how your group can do this in the next few weeks:

Step 1: Ask to meet your MP

You can do this by sending them an email on behalf of your group - we’ve written a template email to get you started. Given social distancing measures, you’ll almost certainly be meeting your MP online. Your MP will let you know how to virtually meet them – for example by using a digital platform like Zoom.

Remember that MPs must prioritise people from their own constituency. It’s great to go along as a group to show your strength, but make sure at least one person is from the area they represent.

Step 2: Prepare

It’s a good idea for your group to meet (virtually) a few days before the meeting to prepare. You’ll want to agree your agenda and decide who will say what. Spend some time researching your MP online to understand more about who they are and what they stand for.

You may also want to do some more reading on what a green and fair recovery should include. But remember, you don’t need to be an expert on a subject to speak to your MP about it – your role is to raise issues you care about and ask them to represent your voice in Parliament.

As this will be an online call, make sure to practice using the technology ahead of time – including testing your microphone and webcam.

Step 3: The meeting

It’s likely you’ll only have about 15 minutes for your meeting. Here’s a suggested agenda of what this could look like:

  • Introductions: Quickly introduce yourselves and the group you are representing. Remind them that you’re here to talk about how we must collectively build back better from this pandemic, and how the UK government can ensure a green and fair recovery.

  • Problem: Explain why a green and fair recovery plan is needed. Talk about the climate emergency, the growing inequality between rich and poor, and the value too often placed on profit over the lives of people and the health of our planet. You can take some ideas from the beginning of our green and fair recovery webpage.

  • Solution: Explain that during lockdown we’ve had the chance to reflect on what we value most and reimagine what our world could look like. We can’t go back to ‘business as usual’ when business as usual didn’t work for millions of people or our planet. Explain more about what a green and fair recovery plan could look like. You can do this by talking them briefly through Friends of the Earth’s plan. You probably won’t have time to talk through all the detail, but you can send them the link to the full plan in your follow up email.

  • Ask: Ask your MP to take this issue forwards on your behalf. Specifically, ask them to write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, asking him to set out a recovery plan which is green and fair.

  • Thank you: Thank your MP for their time, and re-state the commitment they have made. Before you go, ask to take a photo of everyone on the call so you can use it on social media afterwards (make sure everyone has their webcams on!).

Step 4: Follow up

After the meeting, email your MP to thank them for their time, re-state again what they committed to during the meeting, and attach any further information they might find useful including a link to our green and fair recovery plan.

Post the photo on your social media platforms using the hashtag #TakeClimateAction and tag the MP so they can see it too. And finally, email community@foe.co.uk to let us know how it went!

If you’d like more guidance on lobbying decision makers, check out this guide or get in touch via community@foe.co.uk.

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