Keeping climate change on the agenda – Meg Hillier MP!

Women’s Parliamentary Radio

For immediate release
January 23rd 2011

Women’s Parliamentary Radio asks Meg Hillier MP, how climate change can be kept on the political agenda and we set out our new global broadcasting role in 2011!

Meg Hillier, the Labour and Co-operative MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch since 2005, is the Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. A panellist in the recent Fabian Society debate on: “Green Gloom: how do we win the argument for the planet?” Meg says she’s optimistic about our ability to change our habits and that people care deeply about the environmental legacy they hand down to their children and their children’s children.

She told Boni Sones OBE, our Executive Producer that it’s “vital” not to play party politics with the planet, and reminds us all as the New Year begins that by reducing our energy consumption we are also reducing our domestic household bills. Meg told Boni:

• “We care about what our children will inherit – we want to know our children and our children’s children won’t be paying the price for our children’s consumption and we all have to address that question now. On the doorstep people often raise concerns about their family, their children and their grand-children, they do care about the next generation and I do think we need to push that issue because it does resonate.”
• “The devil is in the detail, and I talk a lot to Ed Miliband about this. The government has said it’s not going to junk everything Labour did on the Environment but we see them dither and while they dither opportunities are lost. I think we all have to take responsibility and governments should have done something quicker, but I think this Government has got to get cracking as we have to change habits and reduce consumption massively. The “Green Deal” is going through Parliament, which seeks to encourage us to reduce our energy consumption at home, but we have to make sure it matches with human behaviour and gets the incentives right to make sure the stick is right to bite. “
• “Broadly we want to support the Government in carbon reduction, we all want to achieve this. I have a role to play in protecting this generation and future generations around the World, it is vital we don’t play petty party politics with that!”
• “We need to ask ourselves – do we need to turn that plug on, or that switch off? It will also have an impact on our bills, so if we encourage people to do that it will begin to bite. We call it 2011 the year the government needs to make decisions and hopefully it will be decisions that we will back!”

In 2011 goes global! also started the New Year with two new broadcasts setting out a new global agenda for our listeners. We will soon be broadcasting interviews with women politicians here speaking to women in other parliaments through our “guest editor” approach.

Our reporter Linda Fairbrother started off the New Year by looking at the work of “Women for Women International”. She spoke to Director of Policy Britta Schmidt about the role of women in Afghanistan. Britta told Linda:

• “I think the picture of how women’s lives in Afghanistan has changed over the last ten years is very varied, we have seen some gains, I think 25 per cent of the parliament are women, and we have seen many losses too. From our perspective where we work on the ground with many thousands of women who are socially excluded it is a bleak picture.”

Executive Director Kate Nustedt then told Linda about their “Join Me on the Bridge” campaign linked to the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day 8th March 2011.All women MPs and men are being invited to join them. Do listen. Find out more: Kate told Linda:

• “It was an amasing coming together of women all around the World 100 years ago, when they marked the day. It is now a much much bigger deal in many countries in Africa and South Asia, it is only in the USA and the UK and other parts of Europe that it has gone relatively un-noticed. We are saying on the 8th March 2011 it is now the time to mark this anniversary. We want to be as powerful and as significant as all the Suffragettes were all those years ago. So “Join me on the Bridge” is a campaign started last year when our Country Directors in Congo and Rwanda got together on the bridge that connects the two countries, to show how we can build the bridge of peace for the future. We said we would love to be part of that two, and there were 108 events worldwide.”

1. is a web based broadcaster supported by all parties. Latest web stats show that in May 2010 we had our highest audience ever with 3,913 visitors, there were over 1,000 more visitors in June and July too compared to last year and even August increased. We don’t share our content with others in order to inflate our stats, you have to visit our website to listen to our content.

2. Our web stats show that our visitors are loyal, they return, tune in for some time and to more than one item. We have doubled our audience in a year. In July we published our Top Ten podcasts for that month. The top 8 all had over 100 downloads per podcast. Shirley Williams is hugely popular with 777 listeners to one podcast! The Oona King diaries are proving popular too.

3. wpradio also carries international content and has interviews with women MEPs in Europe, and women politicians in Africa and the Middle East.

4. Our supporters include Theresa May MP, Jo Swinson MP, Harriet Harman MP,and many other female politicians listed on our site. Jackie Ashley, of the Guardian, is our Chair.

5. The British Library archives all the interviews on in its new web collection.

6. For more information contact Boni Sones OBE on 07703 716961.


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