Caroline Lucas: ‘The Green movement has to talk about the positives’

The UK's first Green MP has plenty to be concerned about choking air pollution, the IPCC's climate-change warnings, scant progress on renewable energy, and her trial after the Balcombe anti-fracking protest but she's positively Pollyannaish

Caroline Lucas was standing for parliament the last time we met, and this time round she's standing trial. As far as I can establish, she's the first sitting MP to be prosecuted over a matter of principle since a Labour member refused to pay the poll tax 25 years ago and she hasn't even been in the Commons for a full term yet. But her reason for risking arrest is exactly the same as the reason she ran for election: she is frightened that we're heading for environmental Armageddon. It's not exactly a reason to be cheerful and we meet in her Brighton constituency this week just as air pollution began swaddling the country, only hours after the latest IPCC report warned that climate change is already wreaking havoc on the planet, causing heatwaves and floods. But if she was relentlessly cheerful last time round, this time she's practically Pollyannaish.

Lucas must wait until 17 April for her trial to conclude, when she will discover whether magistrates find her guilty or not of causing an obstruction during an anti-fracking protest last summer in Balcombe so there are some legal constraints on what she can say now.

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