People of Ashton take action to save polar bear

1st October 2007
news
release

The people of Ashton came to the rescue of a forlorn polar bear who has been forced to search for a new home because of the melting ice caps. More than 200 shoppers who spotted the polar bear in Ashton Market on Sunday were moved enough by the polar bear’s plight to fill in a postcard to their local MP 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.

Manchester Friends of the Earth campaigner Ali Abbas said:

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

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

David Heyes, MP for Ashton, said:

“Climate change is rightly a matter of great concern to many of my constituents and, although the Climate Change Bill goes a long way towards addressing those concerns, this campaign will help to ensure that realistic, but challenging targets are set.”

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/2007-09-30.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.