Brighton Pavilion Green MP Caroline Lucas is feeling the heat at Westminster – so much so she wants the parliamentary authorities to turn down the radiators.
Dr Lucas said: “While I welcome Parliament’s Environmental Improvement Plan and appreciate the efforts being made by the Environment Team, I am concerned that the pace of change towards making the estate truly green is far too slow.
“It is incredibly inefficient, for example, that radiators in buildings across the estate are on full blast and cannot be turned down manually even in the mild weather – making the offices of many MPs and staff unbearably hot and stuffy.
“Furthermore, I find it ridiculous that bottled water continues to be provided in committee rooms instead of tap water, despite the obvious environmental benefits that this change would bring.
“And the idea that MPs should be refused the option of sending Christmas cards printed on recycled card to their constituents and colleagues on the grounds that the recycled material would be, according to the Speaker’s Art Fund, ‘significantly inferior’, is shocking.
“It’s clear that the House authorities need to prioritise environmental improvements to ensure that Parliament is leading by example in its green performance – as well as adopting a more ethical procurement policy which phases out non-Fairtrade products where Fairtrade alternatives exist.”
Dr Lucas has tabled an early day motion urging the parliamentary authorities to improve their environmental performance.
Early day motions are rarely debated but enable MPs to make policy suggestions and criticisms and to try to garner support from fellow members.