CLIMATE change activists in Thornbury handed a petition to their local MP calling for the reduction of greenhouse emissions in the region.

The South Gloucestershire Climate Change Coalition lobbied Thornbury and Yate MP and Pensions Minister Steve Webb as part of a global day of action on climate change and presented him with their petition signed by 750 campaigners.

They met with the politician outside the Town Hall on Saturday, December 1, where they discussed the need to put pressure on Prime Minister David Cameron to push the issue to the top of the G8 agenda when he presides over the conference in 2013.

Alan Pinder, a member of South Gloucestershire Climate Change Coalition, said: "The petition expresses our concern about the catastrophic effects of climate change and demand that pressure is put on world leaders to take internationally coordinated strong action to tackle climate change. Change has to begin at home and so it also requires local leaders to encourage and foster initiatives to reduce greenhouse emissions here in South Gloucestershire." He added: "Around the world, especially in poorer countries in the South and East, earthquakes, floods and hurricanes are resulting in loss of life, home and habitat for millions of human beings as well as other creatures and have been growing in frequency and intensity for many years. "It is now vital for world leaders to overcome differences and fears and work willingly and with courage towards healing the natural world – of which everyone is a part."

Mr Webb agreed concerns over had to remain one of the government's priorities and said he would contact the Prime Minister. "When economic times are hard there is a risk that issues like climate change are put on the back burner," he told the Gazette. "It's important that people keep it up on the political agenda."

The group's petition was backed by South Gloucestershire Friends of the Earth, Sustainable Thornbury, Thornbury Churches Together, Be The Change Thornbury, Greenpeace, Grandparents for a Safe Earth, Thornbury Make Poverty History Group, Christian Aid, and Thornbury & Yate Green Party, among others.