On 10th May 2012 Barry hosted a community outreach event in Parliament as Chair of Labour Friends of India. Barry was joined at the event by Ed Miliband, Leader of the Labour Party, to launch the first 'Labour Community Engagement Forum' in Parliament giving members of the Indian community the opportunity to discuss concerns that are a priority for them with a panel of distinguished Labour Party politicians, and to make suggestions for improving the way the Labour Party engages with them. Ed Miliband showed the Labour Party was in a listening mood, answering questions for almost an hour on topics as varied as immigration, education, healthcare, human rights in India, tax rates and the local elections.
On 10th May 2012 Barry joined a panel of experts in Parliament for the launch of the Ecosystem Marketplace Special Report: 'Bringing it Home: Taking Stock of Government Engagement with the Voluntary Carbon Market' and to discuss voluntary carbon markets in which companies and private organisations may trade credits to offset their greenhouse gas emissions (meaning that they pay for what they emit).
On 25th April 2012 Barry launched a pamphlet for The Fabian Society examining the role of public opinion and ways in which people can become more engaged in the sort of changes required to stop dangerous levels of global warming.
You can find more information on the pamphlet, entitled "The Fairness Instinct", or about The Fabian Society here.
On 24th April 2012 Barry brought together MPs from across London to highlight concerns that Boris Johnson is putting public health at risk by spending large sums of taxpayers' money deliberately hiding London's air pollution.
In a joint letter to the Secretary of State for Environment, Caroline Spelman, London's Labour MPs condemned Boris Johnson for spending £1.5 million of public money gluing harmful pollutants to the road in an attempt to artificially reduce the readings around air quality monitoring stations.
The letter warns that spraying pollution suppressants in front of official air quality monitors does nothing to affect actual emissions; it simply misleads the people of London about the quality of the air they are breathing, while putting the UK at risk of millions of pounds of fines for failing to comply with European law for reducing air pollution in the UK.
On 19th April 2012 Barry addressed the young winners of the Wings of Hope Achievement Awards ceremony at Wembley Stadium which was presented by BBC World News newsreader, Babita Sharma.
Founded by Dr Sri and Rajni Ram, The Wings of Hope Achievement Award is awarded to secondary school students who have shown great creativity and leadership in raising money to sponsor the education of children in poorer countries. Entertainment for the evening was provided by Britain's Got Talent contestants, The Lovable Rogues.
You can find out more about Wings of Hope here.
Barry launches new Parliamentary group to encourage households and businesses to become more fuel efficient
On 17th April 2012 Barry set up a parliamentary group with other legislators from all parties to discuss the Green Deal, a new government policy which aims to encourage households and businesses to become more energy efficient by carrying out improvements to their properties.
Barry is deeply concerned that the current government proposals for the Green Deal will not be effective and the UK will not meet its own energy efficiency targets. Instead of simply carping from the sidelines, he will use the group to co-ordinate constructive criticism from businesses and energy consumer groups to improve the legislation.
On 11th April 2012 Barry spoke in a debate hosted by The Earth Debates at the Natural History Museum and chaired by BBC Environmental Correspondent, Richard Black.
The debate focused on the issue of managing the supply of food for an ever increasing global population and was part of a series of debates addressing the key issues of encouraging environmental awareness, food management and the green economy, in preparation of the United Nations Rio + 20 Earth Summit.
You can watch the full debate here.
On 10th April 2012 Barry hosted a meeting of the Justice for Bhopal campaign bringing together a number of groups representing the Indian community in the UK. The meeting set out a plan for the next stage of their campaign in the run-up to the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The group includes representatives of the UK's 800,000 strong Hindu community as well as representatives from other faith groups including the Muslim Council of Britain, The Assamese community, the National Council of Gujarati Organisations, The Zoroastrian Trust Fund of Europe and representatives of Britain's Jain community.
You can learn more about the Justice for Bhopal campaign here.
On 1st April 2012 Barry had the pleasure of attending the traditional Ramanavami celebrations commemorating the birth of the Lord Ram.