Meeting with our MP about climate change
Our group of three Uniting church members met on Zoom with Pat Conroy, the Member for Shortland, for us to learn about his views and his party’s policies on Climate Change.
An open and respectful conversation began with personal stories about why we were led to meet on the topic of climate change and why we were concerned enough to talk to Mr Conroy.
Mr Conroy told a story of when he became interested in climate change.
He has been involved with developing policy as he was an advisor to Greg Combet, a previous Minister with responsibilities for climate change. We pressed him about Labor policy for the coming election and he expressed dismay that climate change had become weaponised in Parliament, with so little action over the last 20 years. He noted that policy would be further developed in response to what eventuates from Glasgow and the COP conference.
Labor’s policy is net zero emissions by 2050 and introducing policies to subsidise electric cars and batteries for solar power, and the use of funds to transition workers out of coal mining to other greener industries.
Mr Conroy is currently Shadow Minister Assisting for Climate Change , International Development and the Pacific, Defence , and Government Accountability.
Because of his Shadow Ministry portfolio, we talked about the Uniting Church’s close connection with Pacific nations stemming from Methodist and Presbyterian mission days and our current engagements. He told stories of his visit to Kiribati and seeing the evidence for sea level rising. The sharing of stories helped forge a respectful relationship.
Mr Conroy encouraged us to talk to neighbours, friends, and parishioners about climate change so that the urgency of the issue is not lost.
We found Mr Conroy personable, and willing to engage. We would encourage others to meet with their MPs (especially those in National Party seats.)
Nerida Drake, Garry Derkenne, and Dita Yabsley.
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