Preet with members of Harborne Village WI

Ahead of COP26, local MP Preet Kaur Gill who serves as shadow secretary for international development, met with the local Harborne Village branch from the Women’s Institute (WI) to discuss the impact that climate change is having on the lives of women and girls across the world.  

Preet Kaur Gill, MP for Edgbaston, Birmingham said, “We have seen that time and again, women and girls are bearing the brunt of the climate change crisis, and this is exactly what is at stake for COP26. The Government is running out of time to make the summit a success, but it’s not too late. It is vital for everyone that the Prime Minister steps up and get the agreements with nations around the world to commit to the cause of climate crisis.” 

The impact of climate change is not affecting people equally. Women and girls are being displaced from their communities, are facing gender violence and are being forced to drop out of education all due to climate-related disasters. Child marriage is used by families to cope with economic hardships caused by climate change. This puts millions of girls at risk of sexual and physical abuse, early pregnancy and maternal death. 

Preet continued, “Climate change cannot be tackled in isolation that is why it was fantastic to be able to discuss this with local WI groups. We all need to play our part and it was an honour to see the action being taken by local residents.” 

At the meeting, WI members from Harborne Village presented Preet with ‘no more loopholes’ bracelets. 

Lynda Gibbon, WI member from Harborne Village explained, “It was fantastic to be able to discuss the issue with Preet and pass on these bracelets. A common criticism of climate conferences is that they ‘manufacture loopholes’, delivering agreements which allow national Governments worldwide to avoid fully implementing high-ambition climate agreements or emissions reductions.  

“As COP26 hosts, the UK Government has a responsibility to make sure that all climate agreements produced at COP26 are without these loopholes, delivering a greener, cleaner and healthier future for everyone, especially those that are the most climate vulnerable.  

“These bracelets form a physical representation of this situation – crochet is formed by creating a series of loops using a hook.”