Our network of local groups is instrumental to our campaigning
I completely support WDM’s campaign to urge the government to provide sufficient resources as grants, not loans, to developing countries in order to help them adapt to climate change…"
- Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion
At the heart of WDM sit its fifty-two local groups. Our groups are made up of people who are committed to campaigning against global injustices and targeting the government and business policies which are keeping developing countries locked in poverty. Through their actions and campaigning efforts, these groups are instrumental in winning our campaigns. One of the ways in which they do this is by lobbying their local MPs.
When our Brighton group met with Green Party MP Caroline Lucas recently she offered full support for our climate debt campaign. She also promised to find out from Andrew Mitchell what’s been happening with the pounds WDM supporters have been sending to DfID for the UN Adaptation Fund.
Many groups have been met with positive responses and South Lakeland WDM even got Tim Farron MP to send a pound to Andrew Mitchell. Tim Farron is the chair of the LibDem’s Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development. He is becoming a key figure in challenging the coalition on certain issues such as aid and is very supportive of WDM. Farron even took some extra ‘send a pound’ cards to give to his colleagues Shirley Williams and Paddy Ashdown, both of whom are former MPs and prominent political figures.
The Oxford group’s lobbying efforts led to Andrew Smith MP tabling a parliamentary question on what DfID are doing with everyone’s donated pounds. This was a really useful step for our campaign and key in building the pressure against DfID.
It’s been great receiving everyone’s feedback from their meetings with MPs and responses to letters they have written. We will be using the feedback to help plan the next stage of the campaign and to work out how best to target certain MPs.
And as Gerald Kaufman told the Manchester group “it is essential that we make maximum effort on the different aspects of climate change because any success can have a repercussive effect on other issues. So please keep up the good work”.
Sarah is the network development officer at WDM. She supports WDM's network of local groups and activists, helping to produce materials, run workshops and develop new groups.