From Caroline Lucas <[email protected]>
Subject Latest Newsletter
Date November 19, 2021 4:35 PM
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Green Party mailing

This was the most important international summit held in the UK and our
best chance of averting climate catastrophe. To say the final agreement
fell short would be an under-statement - it showed nothing like the
ambition or urgency required in the face of an escalating crisis. We
urgently need to bring an end to the fossil fuel era, limit global heating
and build a better future for all of us. But we won't do it with the kind
of incremental steps taken in Glasgow and each delay makes the task ahead
much more difficult.

The summit also failed to deliver climate justice to countries on the
frontline of climate change who are suffering its worst impacts, yet did
the least to cause it. They were let down yet again by the developed
nations' delay in delivering a promised $100bn climate finance package and
by the failure to provide compensation for the loss and damage that those
countries are suffering now.

I started my time in Glasgow by joining 100,000 people in Scotland's
biggest-ever protest on the march for climate justice.

I spoke at a number of meetings with parliamentarians from around the
world, and also took part in a number of side events including on the
global Green New Deal and a Wellbeing Economy. I also joined more than 150
legislators from 32 countries calling for a fossil fuel non-proliferation
treaty. I talked to dozens of climate activists and civil society
organisations from all over the world about their vital work to bring about
change. They were the ones showing true leadership at COP26.

While in Glasgow, I wrote comment pieces for the iPaper [1], the Evening
Standard [2] and the Independent [3]. I also appeared a couple of times on
the Today programme on Radio 4. And in my column in Metro [4], I summed up
what I thought the summit had, and hadn't, achieved.


In his statement to Parliament, the Prime Minister tried to spin COP26 as a
success - it wasn't. His refusal to join the Beyond Oil & Gas Alliance
launched at the summit showed that, while he gives speeches about "one
minute to midnight", he's not prepared to walk the talk on climate action.
I challenged him on his Government's own record during the statement - you
can read our exchange here [5].


Little Amal, a giant puppet of a Syrian refugee child, has been making her
way across Europe to draw attention to the plight of young refugees. She's
a compelling symbol and by coming to COP26, she highlighted the ways that
women and girls are disproportionately impacted by the climate crisis. It
was very moving to *meet* her.


The day before I took the train to Scotland, I was a panellist on BBC
Question Time which was recorded in Eastleigh. Two of the questions were
about our response to the climate crisis, another was on Tory sleaze.


The past three weeks have been very damaging for Parliament and for our
democracy, a situation brought about entirely by Tory sleaze and the
Government's response to it. The attempt to change the rules on
parliamentary standards to protect Owen Paterson was disgraceful - akin to
rigging the justice system after a conviction to get your mate off

During the debate on Owen Paterson, I challenged the Leader of the House
[6] on the new "appeals process" the Government proposed, a clear
undermining of the rules. He defended it, only for the Government to U-turn
the following morning. But that didn't wipe away the stench of sleaze or
the one-rule-for-us-another-for-everyone-else.

This scandal has been a long time in the making and underlines the need for
a better, stronger democracy - the theme of a piece I wrote with Labour MP
Debbie Abrahams in the iPaper [7].

Since the Paterson debacle, the Prime Minister has been rapidly
backtracking on MPs' second jobs. But he hasn't addressed some of the other
sleaze issues like the offering of peerages in exchange for donations to
the Tory party, the PPE contracts for the Tories' mates and the extravagant
gifts given to him personally. What is essential now is that whatever the
Parliamentary Standards Committee recommends in its upcoming report is put
to an early vote by the Government and accepted in full.


Three months after the Government announced the Afghan Citizens
Resettlement Scheme, it is still not up and running. I continue to receive
desperate pleas for help from constituents with family in danger in
Afghanistan or who are stuck there themselves. I have now tabled an Early
Day Motion [8] in Parliament calling on the Government to urgently open the
scheme and raise the cap on numbers who'll be allowed to enter the UK. It's
had support from MPs of all parties.


It was very worrying to see South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb)
declare a critical incident on Wednesday because of an IT failure. That
morning I had written to the Health Minister about the intolerable
pressures the service is facing, with staff shortages and a huge increase
in demand. The crisis in the ambulance service is just the tip of the
iceberg - the whole of our NHS is under huge strain because of growing
pressures and years of Tory under-funding.


Both local and national debt advice services have raised concerns with me
about the Money and Pension Service's (MaPS) proposals to recommission debt
advice in England and Wales, amid concerns that the new model being
considered will result in cuts to face-to face debt advice. I've raised my
concerns [9] with Government Ministers and will be doing what I can to
support the debt advice sector on this issue. If you want to show your
support, you can sign the Unite Debt Advice Network petition here [10].


I joined Green councillor David Gibson in visiting the amazing Community
food shop project run by volunteers at the Phoenix Community Centre, and
spoke with local residents for whom it's an absolute lifeline, particularly
at a time of government cuts, and rising inflation. As well as providing
locally sourced food - much of it donated - a collaboration with the
Phoenix Arts Space means that people can also pick up art 'sets' to take
home and enjoy.


I was happy to accept an invitation from Andrew Comben, CEO of Brighton
Dome and Festival, to meet with representatives of the arts and creative
sector in the city to discuss the ABCD Future Recovery Plan, and explore
the issues the sector faces as Covid restrictions lift. I'll be following
up a number of proposals in parliament, including a call for the Kickstart
programme to be extended, and the promised £90m Arts Premium delivered.


As your local MP, I continue to receive many messages from constituents
seeking help or drawing my attention to problems in the area. This past
week I've been following up on concerns about access to Covid booster
vaccinations via the national booking system, power cuts in the North
Laine, the difficulty of getting an NHS dental appointment, the closure of
Virgin Active in Falmer and ongoing issues caused by the DVLA processing


A reminder that all my appearances in the House of Commons and the
questions I put to ministers, both written and oral, are recorded by
Hansard. You can find them here. [11]

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Contacting Me

If you are a local resident and need help with case work or to find out more about my activities locally please do contact me at the office of: Caroline Lucas MP, Brighton Media Centre 15-17 Middle Street, Brighton BN1 1AL.
Tel: 01273 201 130. Email: [email protected]

I hold regular surgeries across the constituency. If you would like to book an appointment at a forthcoming surgery please call Liz Collis on 01273 201130.
She coordinates my constituency office and is able to help with most local enquiries.

If you would like to know about my parliamentary work please get in touch at the House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA.
Tel: 020 7219 7025. Email: [email protected]

You can also keep up to date with my news on:

Twitter: @carolinelucas

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My Website:

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