Eleanor Duff sent ECI this update:
The Corrymeela Community Climate Justice Group has continued its work virtually, sharing information and keeping abreast of developments. This is a brief update of our recent work. With the Ballycastle centre closed since the middle of March we have had to rely on email and telephone contact.
Recently we had a Zoom meeting to update each other on relevant matters.
Of particular interest was the involvement of a number of members in the UK wide Virtual Lobby of MPs, The Time is Now for a Green and Fair Recovery. Members of the group, along with others took part in Zoom meetings with a number of Northern Ireland MPs, Ian Paisley, Gavin Robinson and Sir Jeffrey Donaldson of the DUP and there was also a meeting led by Claire Hannah of SDLP although none of the group took part.
Feedback from our participants was positive and each MP showed an interest and commitment to the climate and environmental agenda. It is noted that a new strategy paper, Green Strategy and Delivery Framework has recently been tabled in the NI Assembly by Edwin Poots the local Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, this is a significant step. There is to be a debate on this paper in the Assembly on 21/7/20, to which we can tune in to.
There were a lot of issues raised with the politicians. Among these matters discussed at the Zoom meetings were the potential for Hydrogen use in vehicle transport, encouraging more sustainable and environmental friendly agriculture, recycling, care of the countryside, forestry and tree planting, improving public transport, more home working and staggered working in offices to reduce commuting and the twice daily rush hours. Some MPs have agreed to write to the UK PM Boris Johnston relating the key issues discussed.
Members of the group agreed to follow up with contact and possible meetings with other political parties. There is also a suggestion for an event at Corrymeela focusing on climate and environmental issues whenever things get back to normal.