House of Lords Podcast


What comes after COP?

Season 2, Ep. 3

We are discussing the environment and climate change this month on the House of Lords Podcast.

We spoke to two leading environmental campaigners in the House about their perceptions of the recent COP26 conference in Glasgow. We also discuss work in the Lords on the environment, and the balance between personal, government and international responsibilities in combatting climate change.

First up Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle, one of two Green Party members in the Lords, gives us her impressions of the conference, working as one of the smaller parties in the House, plus how it felt to win the first vote on a Green Party amendment in the Lords.

‘There were some important steps, the fact that fossil fuels and coal are actually mentioned in the COP declaration for the first time is important. But we really didn't make the progress that we needed to make in terms of climate finance.’ Baroness Bennett

We also discuss where the conversation on climate change should go next and the role of the Lords.

‘There's a lack of what I would call systems thinking… even if every individual in the world tried to become an environmental saint. The way our systems work, the way things are arranged in our society, the way our economy is arranged, we still wouldn't meet anywhere near the carbon cuts we need.’ Baroness Bennett

We also hear from Baroness Parminter, Chair of the Lords Environment and Climate Change Committee. Baroness Parminter gives her perspective on COP26 and discussing with representatives from parliaments around the world on how to hold their governments to account.

‘We'll be making sure that the pledges that the government have now committed to are actually delivered on the ground. So there's that vital role of scrutiny. But also here in Parliament, we are the democratic body that makes sure that people's voices are heard. And that we are making sure that the questions that the people on the streets want to know are getting answered.’ Baroness Parminter

Baroness Parminter also tells us about upcoming work of the committee and how it felt to lead the charge on the plastic bag levy.

‘When I came in 10 years ago, I was determined to try and make a small contribution to helping make our planet a better place. And when we were in the coalition in 2010 to 2015, I introduced the Lib Dem's policy to support a levy on the plastic bags. And we managed to persuade our Conservative partners in the coalition to deliver that…

‘Over 60% of the action that needs to be taken is around behaviour change. What we eat, how we heat our homes, how we travel, what we buy and what we throw away. And so we need to be looking at how we mobilize people to change their behaviours.’ Baroness Parminter

·      Find out more about Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle and follow on Twitter

·      Find out more about Baroness Parminter and follow on Twitter

·      Find out more about the Lords Environment and Climate Change Committee

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'A gloriously ordinary life': how to improve adult social care, and implementing the Children and Families Act

Season 2, Ep. 10
This month we speak to two members who have been leading investigations into improving adult social care and how the government has incompletely implemented the Children and Families Act.‘A gloriously ordinary life’‘We cannot keep asking families and friends to step up and take more and more responsibility for the adult social care services, while denying them some basic rights in terms of fair benefits and fair access to work.’First, we speak to Baroness Andrews, who has been chairing the Lords Adult Social Care Committee. The committee's recent report, titled 'a gloriously normal life' has just been published. It makes several recommendations on what the government needs to do to improve social care. Listen to Baroness Andrew's interview to find out what the committee found as it spoke to people with lived experience of caring or care, and what the committee now wants the government to do.‘What we heard from carers was the privilege of caring and how much they got out of it, how much they'd learned, for example, from growing up alongside a disabled child or how much they had learned from seeing their parent become a slightly different person from the one that they had been brought up with. It was a positive experience in terms of love and duty for so many, but most had never had a choice, and what we looked at as a consequence of that is what is going to happen in the future when there will be two million people in the next decade aging without children.’·      Find out more from the Adult Social Care Committee‘A failure of implementation’‘Sadly, we found that, due mainly to a lack of real focus on implementation and monitoring the implementation of the Act, it's really been a missed opportunity. And so many of the reforms as envisaged, just haven't taken place or haven't had the desired impact.’Then we speak to Baroness Tyler of Enfield. Baroness Tyler has chaired the Lords committee investigating the government's implementation of the Children and Families Act 2014. In this interview, Baroness Tyler explains how a lack of scrutiny has meant the Act has failed to achieve its desired purpose and what the government can do to fix it.‘We feel it's been a real missed opportunity to improve help, support and protection, particularly for vulnerable children and their parents.’·      Find out more from the Children and Families Act CommitteeCommittee CorridorInterested in hearing more about Parliament’s committees? Listen to the House of Commons Committee Corridor podcast. Visit or search wherever you get your podcasts.More episodesHear more from the House of Lords, including how Hansard works, why members put forward their own draft laws, women in Parliament and more.