People of Eccles take action to save penguin

17th September 2007
news
release

The people of Eccles came to the rescue of a forlorn penguin who has been forced to search for a new home because of the melting ice caps. Nearly 200 shoppers who spotted the penguin in Eccles town centre on Saturday were moved enough by the penguin’s predicament to fill in a postcard to their local MP, Ian Stewart, to demand strong action on climate change.

A draft Climate Change Bill was published by the Government earlier this year [2], but since then three influential committees of MPs have all agreed with Friends of the Earth that the Bill in its current form contains some serious flaws [3]. The Bill is due to be debated in Parliament this autumn, and Manchester Friends of the Earth [1] is working with over 220 other local groups across the country in support of The Big Ask campaign [4], which is asking MPs to toughen up the Bill and ensure it can make a real difference to climate change.

Campaigner and Eccles resident Leanne Bird said:

“Climate change is a threat not only to the homes of penguins and polar bears, but also to our homes and the homes of the millions of people around the world who are at risk from drought and flooding.

Parliament will be debating a new Climate Change Bill this Autumn. If the Bill is going to work, it needs to set the right long-term targets, count emissions from international aviation and shipping, and include annual targets to keep us on track.

MPs like Ian Stewart in Eccles hold the future of the planet in their hands. Log on to www.thebigask.com and urge them not to let us down.”

Councillor Alan Broughton, who represents the people of Eccles ward, added his support to the campaign. He said:

“It’s not often that when walking through Eccles Precinct I’m confronted by a woman-sized penguin standing on a block of ice.

I was very pleased to see Friends of the Earth campaigning locally. I’ve been an admirer and supporter of FOE for 30 years and was delighted to be able to add my name to their call for Parliament to bite the bullet and vote for a really serious Climate Change Bill.”

As well as the local action, Manchester Friends of the Earth are also encouraging people to join celebrities like Jude Law, Gillian Anderson and Stephen Fry on an “online march”, by recording a short video message to their MP and posting it up on The Big Ask website [4].

ENDS

Photos of the action can be downloaded from:
www.manchesterfoe.org.uk/climate/2007-09-15.htm#photos

Notes to Editors

[1] Manchester Friends of the Earth is an award-winning environmental campaign group, raising awareness and lobbying for policy changes at a local, regional, national and international level. The group consists entirely of volunteers, and its campaigns are funded by membership fees and individual donations. Up-to-date information is available on its website: www.manchesterfoe.org.uk.

Manchester Friends of the Earth is part of a network of over 220 local Friends of the Earth groups (further information can be found at www.foe.co.uk).

[2] www.defra.gov.uk/news/latest/2007/climate-0313.htm

[3] www.foe.co.uk/resource/press_releases/
joint_committee_on_draft_c_03082007.html

[4] Further information about The Big Ask campaign can be found on the Friends of the Earth website www.foe.co.uk or www.thebigask.com.