En masse to lobby MPs about climate change yesterday were around 9000 people and over 300 MPs, making what organisers the Climate Coalition believe to be the biggest ever lobby on climate change.

The broad range of representatives from different organisations on the 17th June was huge, and young and old alike descended on Westminster in the sunshine to make sure their political representative knew their concerns, and was willing to fight hard against climate change.

Rob Esdare, a Catholic Priest was one of the attendees I interviewed, and stated that “climate change is the biggest threat we face today” and later went on to liken it to the threat of nuclear war. When asked about whether young Catholics are engaging with climate change issues, he said “spasmodically, and typically only on particular issues.” He was excited that so many young people found Pope Francis appealing and said that “[Pope Francis] was listening to young people” and mentioned that climate change is high on the Pope’s agenda. The earlier leaked encyclical document seemed to support his comments, and the official document is due out today.

All the way from St Agnus in Cornwall were Surfers Against Sewage, an organisation celebrating its 25th year. Having such a close connection to our oceans means this band of boarders see the effects of environmental pollution first hand, many of them having been ill from the overflow of sewage into the sea due to heavy rainfall. Doctors and medical students from the London area were lobbying their MPs from a slightly different angle, stating that keeping fit by cycling and walking more will inevitably reduce pollution and help curb climate change – a no-brainer, really. Bee keepers, nuns, anglers and school groups made up another good sized chunk of the possy poised outside the Houses of Parliament.

Two teenage Christian Aid volunteers all the way from Hollyhead in North Wales had some interesting insight on how young people are engaging with climate change. Year 10 student Rebekah said “climate change will affect everyone soon. You always here 2030 this and 2030 that, and we need to do something now.” Rebekah was here with her friend Caitlyn, also a year 10 student, and they both said the only time you really hear much about climate change is during a science or geography lesson, and that most young people their age are “unaware of the issues”. They both agreed that “[teenagers] want to know how they can help, and what they can do differently.”

The stage was set and lobbyers and MPs alike made their way to the constituencies they represented. Sitting on the grass in a circle with their MP were a year 9 school group from Newcastle. Catherine McKinnell took questions from the students regarding windfarms and renewable energy, and the students discussed the steps they’ve been taking to make a positive impact on the fight against climate change. It was both impressive and inspiring to see the students so concerned with the big issues, and voicing these concerns to their MP so eloquently. Future conservationists in the making.

A surprising number of young people were in attendance, eager to get their views to their MPs and set an agenda for the future. Representing CAFOD and looking to lobby Robert Buckland, MP for South Swindon, were a group of year 9 students from St Joseph’s school. They felt that there should be “climate change lessons in school” and that generally people their age were unaware of climate change. This sadly seemed to be quite a common response, with many saying that there are young people interested in climate change and the issues, but they're the minority. Hopefully the wonderful turn out of roughly 9000 people and the superb representation of young people at the climate lobby will change that.

All in all the Climate Coalition's Speak Up For The Love Of campaign and lobby on climate change was a huge success, and something everyone who attended, volunteered or had any positive involvement in at all can be truly proud of.