The Bill, which would commit the Government to reducing UK carbon dioxide emissions by 3 per cent year on year, attracted strong cross-party support in the last parliamentary session and, since the end of Parliament's 2005 summer recess, another 33 MPs have added their names to Early Day Motion (EDM) 178 (a parliamentary petition supporting the Climate Change Bill), bringing the total number of MPs backing the campaign to 275. The bad news? None of those 33 MPs are from Birmingham and Solihull.
As you will recall, Lynne Jones (Lab, Selly Oak), Richard Burden (Lab, Northfield), Roger Godsiff (Lab, Sparkbrook and Small Heath), Clare Short (Lab, Ladywood), Lorely Burt (Lib Dem, Solihull) and John Hemming (Lib Dem, Yardley) have already signed EDM 178. However, we are still waiting (and lobbying) for Caroline Spelman (Con, Meriden), Liam Byrne (Lab, Hodge Hill), Andrew Mitchell (Con, Sutton Coldfield), Gisela Stuart (Lab, Edgbaston), Khalid Mahmood (Lab, Perry Barr), Steve McCabe (Lab, Hall Green) and Sion Simon (Lab, Erdington) to follow suit.
The Conservative Party environmental spokesman, Oliver Letwin, almost came out in support of The Big Ask in an interview with the Daily Telegraph in September. Mr Letwin "believes that an independent body is needed to preside over the three percent a year cut in greenhouse gases that will be needed to achieve the target of a 60 per cent cut in fossil fuel emissions by 2050", and that it is "worse than useless to have a policy which works for five years then comes unstuck", which is pretty similar to what FoE have been saying.
You can check whether your MP has signed EDM 178 on-line at http://edmi.parliament.uk and, if they haven't, e-mail them from www.thebigask.com. Alternatively, we have plenty of colourful campaign postcards to MPs to give away.