Here we have archived the events which we have previously held.
March on Parliament for a Zero Carbon Britain
Saturday December 4th
Photo Andy Bodycombe
A thousand demonstrators spell out the message for ZERO carbon by 2030 in Hyde Park London, before joining the 'March to Parliament for a Zero Carbon Britain' (see more photos here)
Despite the daunting weather, demonstrators from a wide variety of groups - or no group at all - gathered together on Hyde Park for our giant overhead photo. Tony Black and David du Preez and their team had been plotting this out since 8.00 am in the morning and all the effort paid off nicely as you can see! Before the photo there had been a Climate Service at the Church of the Annunciation, Bryanston Street, organised by Christian Ecology Link (see here) and a protest cycle ride that had set off from Lincoln's Inn Fields at 10.30.
Photo Adela Nistora
Next, everyone took the message to parliament with many placards and banners twinning the 'zero carbon by 2030' message with one calling for 'a million climate jobs'. Marching off via Park Lane, Piccadilly, Lower Regent Street, Trafalgar Square and Whitehall to finally hear the sound of 'Seize the Day' playing at the end of Abingdon Street, right in the shadow of the southern tower of the Houses of Parliament.
Here, campaign coordinator Phil Thornhill kicked off an impressive list of speakers: Caroline Lucas MP (Britain's first Green MP and leader of the Green Party), Michael Meacher MP (veteran environmental champion in the Labour Party), John McDonnell MP (Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington who thanked the climate movement for helping him in his battle against the devastation that would have been caused by a third Heathrow runway ), Andy Atkins (Director of Friends of the Earth), Tony Kearns (long term climate campaigner as well as Communication Workers Union Gen Sec), Maria Souviron (ambassador from Bolivia the country leading the charge for developing countries demanding climate justice at the UN talks ), Paul Allen (pioneer of the zerocarbon Britain 2030 project from the Centre for Alternative Technology), Ben Brangwyn (co-founder of Transition Towns), Sophie Allain (from Climate Camp and spokesperson for the Ratcliffe 20 Direct Action activists), Maryla Hart (from Biofuelwatch) and John Stewart (chair of AirportWatch and HACAN) to round off the speeches with the reminder that 'we have the answers' and around the globe our movement is building.
YouTube clips of the speakers are up here.
Musical interludes were provided by Seize the Day and Climate Justice All-Stars, while welcome refreshments were served by the Brixton Tea Party. Finally many demonstrators retired to a convivial 'after-party' at the Enterprise pub in Holborn.
Riders rode through the streets of London and finished in Hyde Park for the start of the National Climate March.
They assembled at 10:30 where a preliminary mini-rally will took place at Lincoln's Inn Fields, (speaker: Alexis Rowell from Transition Belsize and the 10:10 campaign), then the ride set off to Hyde Park via the Department of Transport on Marsham Street (see map below) where Food Not Fuel will be joined the rally after their 11am protest against the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation). All the while a PA system will was provided by the guys at Bicycology.
1.30 pm Intro from George Marshall
“Oh gosh! Oh help! Oh no!”
What the latest science is telling us by Jonathan Essex. Phil Thornhill expands
on this to bring it into the campaigning world.
Saturday 25th September
Hundreds of protesters from the local community and from all around the country gathered on the Isle of Portland, Dorset, to protest against a proposed palm oil burning agrofuel power station. Coachloads from London and Bristol and individuals from as far as Leeds, Aberdeen and Newport joined hundreds of local campaigners to march from Chesil Beach Car Park, along the seafront to the narrow street that leads to the entrance to Portland Dock, the site of the proposed plant.
Here Andrew Butler from the local campaigning group 'NOPE' (No Palm Oil Energy') drew a symbolic 'line in the sand' against any further expansion of the use of agrofuels for energy.
The Campaign against Climate Change joined together with NOPE ( a very strong local campaigning group see http://nope.org.uk/ ), Biofuelwatch and Food not Fuel to jointly organise the protest.
Speeches were made outside the port, and a note of support read out from Poole MP Annette Brooke. Members of 'Seize the Day' played to the crowd and many campaigners gathered afterwards at St George's Hall on the island for food, workshops and more music from Seize the Day and a local band. See a report of the demo with more photos on the NOPE website here, and there is also a photo gallery on Demotix.
The protest was filmed by BBC South (see here) and had already been widely reported in the local press (see Dorset Echo article here) Meanwhile news also surfaced that Chris Huhne, following our small protest outside DECC (see below) at which we were able to directly confront him, had reported to the 'Green Lib Dems' at the Lib Dem party conference that he was getting his lawyers to investigate the level of subsidy given to developers of the Portland agrofuel power station. We desperately need to keep the pressure up but there are some signs that our protests are already having some impact on this crucial issue.
There is a wave of proposed new agrofuel power stations sweeping the country. The logic of the Portland protest was that if we can stand up to them here, we can stop this wave in its tracks.The headlong expansion of agrofuel (biofuels produced through intensive agriculture) use threatens to destroy the world's remaining primary forests, exacerbate the global food crisis and cause a massive increase in climate-destabilising emissions. We need to make the battle to stop the Portland plant the battle that wins the war against the disastrous expansion of the agrofuel industry.
The timeline of the event looked something like this
9.40 am: Bus leaves London (late) for Portland
1.30 pm: Locals and others assembled at Chesil Beach Car Park. March started to spread out along the foreshaw.
1.45pm Londoners spill out of their coach to catch up with the rest of the march, banners unfurled and flags waving.
2.30 - 3.30 pm: Rally outside port gates (site of proposed plant). BBC film drawing of line in sand and speeches.
4.30 pm: Workshops and entertainment in St George's Hall
7.30 pm: Bus set off back to London.
The application for an agrofuel power station in Portland was approved in January (after the initial rejection was overturned on appeal by the company making the proposal, W4B). The power station will burn palm oil and increase by one third the volume of palm oil currently being imported to this country for energy usage. See more here. W4B are planning an even bigger plant in Bristol, so stopping W4B in Portland will help to stop them in Bristol, too!
Agrofuel burning power stations like the one In Portland would not be going ahead were they not subsidised by the government. Insanely, agrofuels are classified as a renewable energy and as such receive subsidies - so that, in effect, the government is subsidising massive deforestation in South East Asia (and other places), thereby accelerating, rather than slowing down, the destabilisation of global climate.
The fight against this insane subsidy, against the Portland plant and the wave of agrofuel power stations sweeping the country and against the 'false solution' of agrofuels in general, will go on!
Demonstrations in London and Manchester, Saturday 4th September
Demonstration at City Airport, London - 11.45 am
Demonstration at Manchester Airport, 5.15 pm
London City Airport and Manchester City Airport were the settings for a Day of Action aimed at achieving an end to domestic flights in the UK.
First off at 11 o’clock in the morning was London City Airport where over 20% of flights are internal ones and there are plans to double the number of flights at the airport. Organised with the local anti-expansion group Fight The Flights around 50 people gathered outside the terminal building to hear a wide range of speakers; GLA members Darren Johnson (Green Party) and Murad Qureshi (Labour), the CCC’s national co-ordinator Phil Thornhill, John Stewart (orchestrator of the successful Heathrow campaign) Josh Moos of Plane Stupid, plus a letter from Baroness Sarah Ludford (Lib Dem MEP) read out by Fight The Flights’ Anne-Marie Griffin who herself made a great speech about the locals’ plight against the expansion plans. Finally, Peter Deane from 'Food Not Fuel' spoke about how disastrous it would be to use biofuels for aviation.
We then headed off to Euston station on a red open-top bus through the streets of London with banners saying “End Domestic Flights Now!” hanging off it and the top deck full of shouting protestors.
Once we got to Euston we hurried onto the 1:40pm train to Manchester Piccadilly. Upon arrival we were greeted on the platform by members of SEMA (Stop Expansion at Manchester Airport) where a short photo-op resulted in us appearing on the local BBC TV news report.
So, it was off to Manchester Airport on the final leg of our journey where around 75 people, many of them local but also from the surrounding towns made their voices heard outside Terminal 3 at 4:30pm. After a short yet powerful introduction from our climate change mermaid, we heard speeches from Peter Nietschz - a resident of Hasty Lane whose house stands to get demolished if the airport expands its freight capacity which it has been given planning permission to do. John Stewart and Phil Thornhill spoke once again, and we also heard from Martin Eakins (a local Lib Dem councillor who has been opposing the expansion) and Judy Paskell from the Manchester Campaign against Climate Change. The chants of the crowd demanding “take the train, not the plane, end domestic flights!” echoed off the tall terminal buildings, as did the speeches thanks to a powerful bicycle-powered sound system.
After the demonstration was over we walked to Hasty Lane where a fantastic party in a beautiful garden was held, complete with a ceilidh band and fruit picking in benefit of a local community project, and everyone enjoyed a well-deserved drink and meal. A great end to an inspiring day of activism. We may not have grounded any flights - that was never our intention - but we continued to push the anti-aviation agenda forward after the excellent victory at Heathrow.
More photos from the London part of the demo:
And from the Manchester part of the demo:
plus more to follow as we get them.
"End Domestic Flights" is one of the 'Climate Emergency Demands' - see here.
Before the demo we asked people their thoughts on banning domestic flights and made a video of their responses, you can watch it here.
Public Meeting, Wednesday 11th August
Around 40 people enjoyed an evening of discussion in SOAS.
John Stewart (chair of AirportWatch) kicked the evening off by stressing the importance of the Heathrow third runway victory to national airport expansion policy.
Dan Glass (Plane Stupid) then followed with a speech and PowerPoint presentation explaining the attractions of non-violent direct action and charting the history of the Plane Stupid campaign including his sticky meeting with Gordon Brown and multiple runway occupations.
Alan Haughton (Fight The Flights) gave us a passionate look into the plight of the people living in the area around City Airport and especially how unviable aviation would be if it were not for government subsidies.
Phil Thornhill (national co-ordinator) applauded the triumphs made at Heathrow, Stansted, and Gatwick, but also expressed the critical need for anti-expansion groups to triumph on a principal instead of individual expansionary proposals. He also noted the importance of direct action whilst highlighting the necessity of legal and inclusive public protests so as to render an argument of ‘illegitimacy’ or ‘marginal extremism’ moot.
The evening concluded with a lively Q&A session covering subjects such as freight transport, a just transition for aviation workers to a low carbon economy, and the need to address long-haul flights in addition to short-haul flights.
The Zero Carbon Britain Report – is this our blueprint for the future?
Public Meeting and Debate Thursday 22nd July
organised by the Campaign against Climate Change.
Peter Harper and Stephen Murphy from the Zero Carbon Britain team presented a compelling case for the report, with Peter explaining the land use section in especial detail. They then answered answered a host of questions and comments from the floor in a lively discussion.
Topics covered (besides land use changes) included the intelligent use of energy, renewable energy generation, the infrastructure that we will need to develop, and positive effects on the economy. A comprehensive and radical approach could - given the necessary injection of collective will from the public - result in an actual increase in the quality of life as well as being an effective way to prevent catastrophic climate change.
The second Zero Carbon Britain report was released in June this year and offers a radical blueprint for rapid de-carbonisation of the economy and the achievement of, essentially, a zero emissions society by 2030. This looks like just what we need to address the Climate Emergency, with real practical solutions and a realistic vision of how we can make deep and rapid emissions cuts in the UK. The presenters were keen to state that the report should serve as a framework to spark debates, proposals, and vision for the public to launch from.
We recorded the main presentation and Q&A sessions and have uploaded them as MP3s, they're perfect for listening to on the train.
Main presentation (47mins, 43MB MP3).
Q&A session (55mins, 19MB MP3)
We've also uploaded the PowerPoint presentation of it so you can view the slides while watching the video:
To many the current government appears “green” in part because there is a lack of appreciation of the true scale of the climate crisis we need to address. We need a really coherent, radical, alternative with which to challenge the government’s painfully slow, faltering and piecemeal approach - and the Zero Carbon Britain Report looks like just that!
At the international level, meanwhile, the Copenhagen Talks demonstrated an impasse that is only likely to be overcome with a change in the politics and policies of key players at the national level. In the UK we can make our most powerful contribution by setting an example of how industrialised countries can put in place a plan for rapid decarbonisation of the economy – and 'Zero Carbon Britain' looks just like that plan!
For further information, check out the ZCB website (where you can download the report) here.
This was a Public Meeting held on Thursday 10th June in SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies), London, organised by CCC with the Climate Camp. It was focused around a report back and discussion on the...
Cochabama Climate Conference:
"World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth" held 19th-22nd April 2010.
35,000 people attended this ground breaking event. Why ground-breaking? Because this is the first big sign that the developing world is waking up to the huge threat it faces from climate change and is beginning to mobilise in earnest against the massive injustice effectively being inflicted upon it by the rich nations of the North. Even while sceptics dominate the airwaves here in the UK, anger at our role in stoking a global catstrophe is building... In any case, 35,000 people attended and debated the crisis and its solutions, emerging with a declaration at the end that recommends tough, scientifically realistic targets (1°C, 300 ppm) like nothing seen in the UNFCCC negotiations. And CCC members were there - promoting the Global Day of Action on Climate (see more about this here).So also were folks from the Climate Camp.
The reports back came from a wide variety of perspectives and were followed by an interesting discussion involving just about everyone at the meeting. The Cochabamba conference will continue to be a source of inspiration for climate campaigners here in the UK !
Lighting the candles for the Climate Emergency message outside St Martin-in-the-Fields
The all-night Climate Emergency Vigil started on the night of Saturday May 15th, just over a week after the election, with a Candlelit Procession down Whitehall from St Martin-in-the-Fields church, Trafalgar Square.
A crowd had assembled from 11.00 pm outside the church where "Climate SOS" was spelled out in candles, and numerous more candles were lit and placed in jars while flags and placards were distributed. Meanwhile inside the church itself a service organised by Christian Ecology was being held - there was a great turnout for it with nearly 100 attending, to listen to the Rev. Chris Brice, Social Justice advisor for London diocese and Mark Dowd from 'Operation Noah'.
At 12.00 midnight the candle-bearing masses streamed off past the great pillared facade of St Martin's behind the campaign's 7 foot square globe-in-a-greenhouse, the CCC banner and another banner held by a long row of vigil-goers spelling out "Climate Emergency". With candle-lights bobbing and flags waving the Procession made its way down Whitehall, past Downing Street with newly re-occupied No. 10 to finish at 'Old Palace Yard' just opposite the Houses of Parliament. Here the crowd assembled around the statue of George V to be rewarded by a surprise appearance and inspiring speech from John McDonnell MP (whose constituency includes the village that had been threatened by the proposed 3rd Heathrow runway).
|Jack Kelly||Steve Merrick|
More speeches followed from Alex Farrow from the UKYCC, Suzanne Dhaliwal and Melina Laboucan-Massimo from the Tar Sands campaign, Becky Luff from The Spartans, Phil Thornhill as campaign coordinator, Mark Dowd from Operation Noah, Peter Deane from Biofuelwatch, Suzanne Jeffery on 'a million climate jobs' , Chris from the Democracy Village and Duncan Law on behalf of Transition Towns - all admirably brief (!) and interpersed with musical interludes courtesy of Peter Deane, Chris Bluemel, Tony Black et al...
But the fun part was yet to come....
the night was action-packed with never a dull moment. Activities kicked off with "Join the Mutiny" speed debating, followed by 'Poetry Time' (Helen Moore, Niall McDevitt, Tim Padmore) then the disturbingly moving "Funeral for extinct species" (Feral Theatre), John Hogget's "Ritual of despair and empowerment" and a Climate Change pub-style quiz organised by Jonathan Whittaker. Ongoing through the night meanwhile was Luke Smith's bicycle powered photographic " messages for the new prime minister", Jonathan Whittaker's Mural-making, Tim Padmore's "The Plinth" and "Poems for the new Prime Minister", Luke Smith's bicycle powered printer printing out messages to the Prime Minister written on a chalkboard, and a recycled material craft session. Altogether there was a lively yet laid back atmosphere where people manged to forget that the normal state for that hour is unconsciousness...! Between the hours of one and five we created our own unique, slightly surreal but inspirational, space... while keeping alight the flame for action for the climate emergency...
At the Lambeth Methodist Mission, meanwhile, faith groups enjoyed a refelective overnight session of prayers, music, singing and discussion.
Finally dawn brought a tremendous finale to the night with Letty Stott unleashing the deep, powerful and moving tones of the alphorn - a call for the dawn of a zero carbon era which echoed off the Houses of Parliament and around Westminster. After this unique and inspirational moment the still-quite numerous crowd trooped off over Lambeth Bridge to St Jude's Community Hall for a communal breakfast... until awareness of the lack of sleep began finally to penetrate and folk began to disperse homewards to sleep at last...
See promotional video here:
See Map for event here:
Timetable of event:
11.00 pm Assemble outside St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square. Service inside the church from 11.00 pm organised by Christian Ecology Link.
12.00 midnight Candlelit Procession for the Climate down Whitehall.
12.30 - 5.00 am Overnight Vigil at Old Palace Yard, outside Parliament. 'Art and Empowerment' events through the night. Detailed timetable here.
5.00 am 'Zero Carbon' Dawn - Laetitia Stott, Guildhall music student will play an inspirational 'Call to action,' including a serenade on an Alphorn, calling across the city for a Zero Carbon Dawn.
6.00 am Climate 'Vigil-istas' communal breakfast in St Jude's Community Centre.
Speakers included David Adam (Environmental Correspondent from the Guardian), Ben Stewart (Greenpeace), George Marshall (founder of COIN - Climate Outreach and Information Network with a special guest appearance from Toucy the Toucan!) and Phil Thornhill (National co-ordinator, Campaign against Climate Change).
The climate sceptic event held on Wdenesday 14th April was a great success. The lecture hall in SOAS was filled to capacity, clearly understanding and countering climate scepticism is important to everyone. The evening kicked off with a screening of the new video promoting the Climate Emergency Vigil which got a great reaction and, through the comments of those like James Delingpole and Nigel Lawson served to highlight the problem we are up against.
The speakers all tackled the problem from a slightly different angle according to their interest. First off was Ben Stewart from Greenpeace who reminded us that in this case “being right is not enough”, as shown by the slow reaction of UEA to the email leaks, we need to work harder to explain ourselves and avoid complacency.
Next David Adam, the Guardian environmental correspondant, gave some of his insight into the media workings – where the sceptic movement acquires its respectability. He was more positive than most, pointing out that scepticism is almost unique to bloggers and journalists and is rarely taken up by business leaders or politicians to the same extent.
Finally George Marshall (from COIN) explained, with the help of Toucy the Toucan, some of the psychology behind scepticism. He highlighted the importance of reaching out to as many diverse groups as possible on the grounds that people believe what their friends and peers believe more than what experts tell them. After a rousing speech by the Phil Thornhill (our national coordinator) about the need for radical campaigning in the debate it was on to questions from the audience.
After some initial questions on the subject we finished with a specific discussion, from panel and audience, on how to combat scepticism as a movement. Solutions were offered, some more practical than others, and it was agreed that we all must be alert to scepticism as it appears in the national media and counter any false or misleading claims, as well as spreading the truth about climate science as much and as far as possible. Debate among those present was informed and interesting and on the whole the audience were hopefully left more filled with optimism than at the beginning.
See more about the sceptic backlash here.
The third CCC trade union conference took place on Saturday 13th March, at the South Camden Community School, Charrington St, London NW1 1RG. Speakers included Tony Kearns (CWU), Manuel Cortes (TSSA), Chris Baugh (PCS), Prof. Barbara Harriss-White, Jonathan Neale (Million Green Jobs Commission, CCC), John Stewart (HACAN), Graham Petersen (UCU), and Larry Lohman (Cornerhouse).
The Campaign against Climate Change Trade Union conferences have brought together hundreds of Trade Unionists to discuss the role that the Trade Union movement can play in the fight against Climate Change. The conference took place against a backdrop that is even more urgent than the loast two: working people face the twin threat of economic recession and climate disaster. The failure to agree a serious strategy for dealing with climate change at the Copenhagen Climate Conference underlines this problem.
The conference was held by the CCC's trade union working group. For more information, please visit the CCCTU Wordpress blog.
The CCC held its 2010 Planning Meeting and AGM on February 20th at SOAS attended by close to 100 of its members. Business kicked off with an overview of the achievements of 2009, a pretty remarkable year including many energetic demonstrations notably the Save Vestas Campaign, CCC’s contribution to December’s London Wave and Climate Emergency Parliament in July which lead to the submission of radical Climate Emergency Demands by Colin Challen MP since signed by a further 60 MPs. The CCC Trade Union group garnered a lot of support through it 1 Million Climate Jobs pamphlet with backing from unions including CWU, TSSA, PCS and UCU, the pamphlet now in its second print run after strong demand.
After a short lunch members broke into 3 sub groups to discuss directions the Campaign should take in 2010. Peter Robinson, reinstalled later in the day to continue in the post of Chairman of CCC, opened the discussion session on how to build a major climate movement with a focus on working with other groups. Some interesting contributions from the subgroups included trying to partner with other groups who might have similar aims, but coming from a different agenda. For instance CCC’s aim of reducing the speed limit to 55MPH to cut carbon emissions might also appeal to road safety groups. Campaigning for large multinationals to reduce their carbon footprint through way of pamphlet received support.
Phil Thornhill, also reinstated later in the day as National Co-ordinator, continued discussion on how to get the most from the Emergency Demands with feedback from the members giving support for action on housing insulation included as part of the Million Green Jobs. It was suggested other Emergency demands could also be coupled with a solution, “Reduce speed limit to 55MPH and improve public transport”, and more local action in the form of public meetings and actions to oust support from local MPs for the emergency demands. (Get your MP to support the EDM here)
Jonathan Neale, voted in to continue as International Secretary of CCC, spoke about how the RSPB (animal and wildlife welfare) brought 5000 people to December’s Wave and how groups from diverse backgrounds can come together to increase the fight against climate change. The breakout group discussing actions around the elections and later in 2010 felt there was a need for a large demonstration post election and also a second later in the year, possibly including a simple message “Real Climate action - Not False Solutions” and actions that would incorporate the message and support of other activist groups.
The day concluded with voting on changes to the Constitution, Resolutions and election of the Steering Group. Relatively minor changes went through with no objection on the Constitution, all 3 proposed resolutions were passed some with small addendums including support for CCC help in sending members to the Bolivia conference in March. As there were no contested roles on the Steering Committee, all those nominated and receiving the required support were voted into position in one group vote. Notable members of the Steering committee this year include Deepak Rughani from Biofuelwatch and John Stewart of HACAN, with total steering groups members now totalling 17.
Most recent events are nearest the top.
GLOBAL DAY OF ACTION CLIMATE MARCH IN COPENHAGEN, 12th DECEMBER
The Campaign against Climate Change was out 'on tour' wth our hallmark 'globe-in-a-greenhouse' and assorted flags and banners at the magnificent climate march in Copenhagen on 12th December, the Global Day of Action on climate on the Saturday midway through the climate talks.
The CCC co-organised the 'Euro-train' that took 800 activists from Belgium, France and the UK to Copenhagen for the weekend of the 12th-13th. This was in collaboration with 'Climate et Justice Sociale' from Belgium and 'Amis de la Terre' from France. 133 activists from the UK went on the train, while CCC also organised a coach that took another 50 activists.
The Global Day of Action march in Copenhagen was a great success, with maybe around 100,000 taking part including sizeable contingents from many European countries and a broad diversity of people from all over the world. CCC enthusiasts joined the Friends of Earth 'Flood for Climate Justice' outside the venue of the 'Klima Forum' at 10.00 am and proceeded with the 'greenhouse' to Christiansborg which rapidly filled up with demonstrators to hear speeches before the march left around 2.00 pm for the 6km march to the Bella centre (where the conference was being held), where there were more speeches and entertainment into the early evening.
Everyone was agreed it was a fantastic day - not to be missed - and a milestone in the building of a global campaign against climate change.
Thousands came togther for the Climate Emergency Rally at the start of the UK's biggest day of climate protest, yet, on 5th December, the Saturday before the opening of the Copenhagen Climate Talks. They came to demand immediate and radical action on climate from the UK government.
The rally's key demands were:
These demands were clearly visible on Saturday as hundreds of demonstrators held aloft the Climate Emergency placards.
The packed rally line-up saw speeches from:
John McDonnell MP (Lab), Simon Hughes MP (Lib Dem), John Stewart (Hacan Clearskies), Michael Meacher MP (Lab), Ellie Hopkins (UK Youth Climate Coalition), Tess Riley (Climate Camp), Caroline Lucas MEP (Leader of the Green Party), Lynne Jones MP (Lab), Maria Souviron (Bolivian Ambassador), Chris Baugh (Public and Commercial Services Union), Phil Thornhill (National Coordinator, Campaign against Climate Change).
John McDonnell MP, who has signed our EDM 189 outlining our climate emergency demands, championed the active opposition in his constituency to the proposed expansion at Heathrow, while Simon Hughes MP spoke of the link between the climate and economic crises. Bolivian Ambassador Maria Souviron gave a voice to the global south and declared the
The rally was joined by 250 cyclists fresh from the Climate Emergency Bike Ride who had started the day bright and early at Lincolns Inn Fields hearing speeches from Cllr Alexis Rowell (Lib Dem, Camden Council) and a fired up NIck Hutton (Treasurer Campaign against Climate Change). The ride then headed to BP's headquarters to demand an end to the company’s investment in the Canadian Tar Sands and the agrofuel industry with speeches from Jess Worth of the UK Tar Sands Network and Maryla Hart of Biofuelwatch. Finally the cyclists visited E.ON's office on the Mall to call for an end to dirty coal before joining the rally throng at
The rally crowd went on to join the Stop Climate Chaos organised Wave event which saw 50,000 people encircling Parliament to call for tough action at
To round off the day supporters visited
On the day of the climate demonstrations 250 cyclists started the action early and took the streets on a loud and colourful bike ride to demand emergency action on climate change from the government.
Starting off at Lincoln’s Inn Field, Alexis Rowell, Green Camden Councillor and founder of Cutting The Carbon, gave her support. There was then a stop-off at the BP headquarters where Maryla Hart of Food Not Fuel spoke about the corporation’s investment in agrofuels, before Jess Worth of the New Internationalist demanded an end to their funding of the destructive Canadian Tar Sands industry. Later, there was a short rally at the headquarters of climate criminal E.ON against new coal-fired power stations.
Cyclists then made a grand arrival at the Climate Emergency Rally at Speakers’ Corner to hear more rousing speeches from Caroline Lucas MEP, John McDonnell MP, John Stewart [HACAN] as well as others including Simon Hughes MP who himself came on the ride.
But the pedal-power hasn’t stopped there. Two CCC supporters carried on after the rally and are cycling 280 miles from London to Copenhagen to join the demonstrations there. Keep up support on their Facebook group page here.
Campaign against Climate Change organised a program of Public Meetings on the theme of Climate Emergency Copenhagen
Climate Emergency Copenhagen London Public Forum
Saturday 7th November at the South Camden Community School, NW1, 12 -6 pm
See more here.
Or contact firstname.lastname@example.org, 020778339311 for more details
Cumbria : Kendal
Climate Emergency Public Meeting organised by South Lakes Action on Climate Change on Thursday 17th September at the Castle Street Centre in Kendal, 7:30pm. Contact slaccslacc.org.uk for more details.
A Climate Emergency Parliament is being held as part of of the SCACC AGM on Tues 22nd Sept, at Quaker Meeting House, St James St, Sheffield. The AGM starts at 7pm and the Parliament at 7.45-9.15pm
Contact Jenny Patient for more details: jenny.patientblueyonder.co.uk Tel: 07760174335
Public Meeting : "Copenhagen Trick or Treat ?" 12th November.
More details at www.gren.org.uk
- or contact John Hoggett, climatejusticepostmaster.co.uk , Tel: 0118 941 5144
Public Meeting: Climate Emergency Copenhagen: What World Leaders are getting wrong and what we can do about it
Wednesday 28th October, 7.30pm' Priory Street Centre, Priory Street (off Mickelgate)
Speakers: Phil Thornhill, National Coordinator, Campaign Against Climate Change and Neil Kingsnorth, Head of Activism, Friends of the Earth UK
Climate Change, the economy and Copenhagen
Tuesday 27th Oct at 7.15pm
Friends Meeting House
Mount St (behind Central Library
Phil Thornhill, National Coordinator, CCC
Martin Empson, Trades Union group of CCC
Worker from Vestas wind turbine factory (where they occupied to fight closure)
Speaker from Climate Action on recent direct action protest at Radcliffe Power Station, near Nottingham
Wednesday 11 November 2009 - CLIMATE EMERGENCY COPENHAGEN PUBLIC MEETING,
7.30pm Venue: United Reform Church, Princes St, Norwich (near Cinema City).
"Climate scientists and campaigners will outline urgent action needed to prevent climate disaster, how we must change oureconomy, what we can all do, how to press our politicians to do more locally and nationally and at Copenhagen"
Public Meeting: 7.30 p.m. – 9.00 p.m., Thursday 12th November 2009
Venue: The Common Place , 23-25 Wharf Street, LS2 7EQ
Organisers: Kirklees Campaign against Climate Change (kirkleesccchotmail.co.uk)
The science behind the Climate Emergency (Dr Simon Lewis, Royal Society Research Fellow, Earth and Biosphere Institute, School of Geography, University of Leeds)
Radical measure 1 - 10% cut in emissions by the end of 2010 (Simon Bowens, Friends of the Earth [Regional Campaigns Co-ordinator, Yorkshire and the Humber])
Radical measure 2 - A million Green jobs by the end of 2010 through massive investment in – among other projects - renewable energy, insulation programs and improved public transport (Martin Hemingway, Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the Green Party, Leeds NW)
Radical measure 3 - Ending domestic and short-haul flights and building a better train and coach network (Representative of a group campaigning against airport expansion: tbc)
Watch this space for more meetings and further details.
London Public Forum
Saturday 7th November
12.00 noon – 6.00 pm,
at South Camden Community School, Charrington St.
The event saw a great afternoon of speeches by a range of diverse and passionate speakers.
The four round table plenaries were:
Plus there were assorted workshops including ones from Biofuelwatch/Food not Fuel and the CCC trade union group.
For a full programme of events click here.
The speakers Aubrey Meyer (Global Commons Institute), Oliver Tickell (author Kyoto 2), John Stewart (HACAN), Johann Hari (journalist), Jean Lambert MEP (Green Party), Damian Carrington (Head of Environment, the Guardian), Alexis Rowell (Camden Council), Daniel Scharf (Greenspeed), Chris Baugh (Public and Commercial Services Union), Dr Stuart Parkinson (Scientists for Global Responsibility).
10% Cuts by end 2010: the case for emergency action
Phil Thornhill, National Coordinator, Campaign against Climate Change
Damian Carrington, Head of Environment, The Guardian
Jean Lambert MEP, Green Party
Carbon Supermarket - a comic take on carbon trading
With cartoonist Kate Evans and Kevin Smith, Carbontradewatch
Introduction to campaigning against Agrofuels
Biofuelwatch and Food Not Fuel
Break: Stalls open & Brixton Tea Party serving hot drinks / snacks
FOYER & DINING ROOM
Green Jobs Now - a million climate jobs by end 2010
Dr Stuart Parkinson, Executive Director, Scientists for Global Responsibility
Andrew Simms, Policy Director and Head of the Climate Change Programme, new economics foundation
Chris Baugh, Assistant General Secretary, Public and Commercial Services
The role of Trade Unionists in building the Climate
movement before and after
Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union Group
Achieving 10:10 - how to cut your emissions by 10% in a year without breaking a sweat
Prashant Vaze, author Economical Environmentalist
Break: Stalls open & Brixton Tea Party serving hot drinks / snacks
FOYER & DINING ROOM
Decarbonising our transport fast - the way ahead
Cllr Alexis Rowell, Lib Dem,
John Stewart, HACAN ClearSkies
Daniel Scharf, Greenspeed
Live music from the Eco MC formely known as MC Ni
Break: Stalls open & Brixton Tea Party serving hot drinks / snacks
FOYER & DINING ROOM
Helen Wolfson, International Co-ordinator, Friends of the Earth
Johann Hari, Journalist, The Independent
Oliver Tickell, author
Aubrey Meyer, Global Commons Institute
Climate Emergency CALL TO ACTION
Campaign against Climate Change
The Big “5” for “350”
Aerial Photograph at the London Eye 2pm, Saturday 24th October
The "Big 5" photograph went fantastically well, over 600 people gathered on London's South Bank to form the shape of a 5, to be put next to a 3 that was taken in Sydney, Australia and a 0 that was taken in Copenhagen, Denmark on the same day. The event was part of the 350 global day of action which saw over 4,000 events in over 180 countries all highlighting the number 350 - the safe level of CO2 in the atmoshphere in parts per million that we need to achieve to avoid catastrophic climate change (the current level 390 ppm).
The event was part of the nef's Bigger Picture festival that was taking place in The Bargehouse nearby.
Clicking the image above gets you to the full size version, but be warned, it's nearly 7 megabytes!
Here is a great time-lapse YouTube video of the event.
while Leap Anywhere did a video of the day with interviews.
You can see all the other events from the 350 day of action on their website. The 350 day of action, founded by author Bill McKibben, is the major international action leading up to the UN Climate Talks in Copenhagen, these actions peak with the Global Day of Action on Climate Change midway through the talks on December 12th – see here.
Our bloc, called Footsteps to the Future was loud and lively (helped no end by the bike sound system) and we marched from East Midlands Parkway station to the gate of the station where we stayed for a bit, snacking and listening to speeches.
Then the march resumed, down the road (with the humongous coal pile on our left) onto the bridge where we could peacefully observe the fence which other blocs were trying desperately to pull down! There we stayed for a while, eating flapjacks, playing a giant version of paper-rock-scissors and dancing to the sound system (rather appreciated by a police officer who joined in from the pavement!) until it started getting dark and cold, at which point most people went back to the station to get transport home.
A camp complete with warming fire was set up in the woods nearby, where the majority of those that stayed slept for the night. Sunday was less eventful than Saturday, with a few people launching a half-baked and unsuccessful attempt at getting a fence down before everyone got escorted back to the station where minibuses and trains took demonstrators back home.
We've uploaded some photos here.
Maryla Hart speaking for 'Food not Fuel'
Demonstration against renewable energy subsidies for Agrofuels
Monday 12th October, 6.30 pm
At DECC (Dept of Energy and Climate Change), 3 Whitehall Place, London
Photo-op at 12.30 – 1.30 pm
This was a lively demonstration with a great atmosphere! Good speeches from Kenneth Richter from Friends of the Earth, Rupert Read from the Green Party, Maryla Hart from ‘Food not Fuel’, Phil Thornhill from the ‘Campaign against Climate Change’, Amancay Colque from Coordinadora Latinoamericana. and also John Stewart from HACAN who chipped in with a few words about agrofuels as the 'long game' of the aviation industry. Also great music from, Pete, Mark et al!
Half way through there was a great moment when the Latin American contingent arrived on the last stop of their long day of actions in solidarity with indigenous people on this 'Day of Protecting Mother Earth'.
So what was the demo about ? Well........
The government is using renewable energy subsidies (Renewable Obligations Certificates – or ROCs) to fund power stations that use agrofuels.
John McDonnell MP
September 17th 2009 saw the second Vestas National Day of Action. The highlight of the day was a lively rally at Ed Miliband's Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) which demonstrated that the fight to save the Vestas wind turbine factory and for green jobs goes on. The rally was organised by the Campaign aginst Climate Change, working with Wandsworth and Battersea Trades Council, with a variety of groups attending including the RMT Union and Workers' Climate Action. A hundred or so activists ensured that this rally was bigger than that on the previous National Day of Action.
Speakers included John McDonnell MP (Labour, Hayes and Harlington), Darren Johnson (Green Party and chair of the GLA), Jess Edwards (National Union of Teachers), Mark Flowers (Vestas worker), Tracy Edwards (Young Members Organiser for the Public and Commercial Services Union) and Lynda Taffe (Shop Stewards Network).
See the photo gallery here.
Videos of the speeches are in a YouTube playlist.
At the same place there was a lobby/photo-op earlier in the day, some photos are here.
Isle of Wight
March to County Hall. Assemble 12.30pm, Church Litten Park, Newport.
In the evening, workers and supporters met for a drink in the Chicago Rock Cafe, Newport from 7.30pm. More info here.
5pm Rally at Piccadilly Gardens. Wear Green, bring banners, mass leafleting.
Call Martin 079 585 35231 for more info.
Called by Campaign against Climate Change and Manchester Trades Council
8pm Social for Vestas workers, Chorlton Irish Centre.
Called By Chorlton Green Party.
Assemble 4.30pm, Newcastle Civic Centre for march through the
city centre and rally outside the regional government offices, Gallowgate.
More info: http://tynesidecacc.wordpress.com/
17:00 - 18:30
Nye Bevan Statue, End of Queen St, Cardiff
Supported By Cardiff RMT Branch, PCS Wales, Campaign against Climate Change, Leanne Wood AM, Climate Camp Cymru, World Development Movement Cardiff, People and Planet, Cardiff Young Greens
Call Adam 07940108146 or email@example.com for more info
Demonstration at 5 o'clock on the 17th September at the Vestas Southampton factory. Followed by an open meeting at 7pm in the Dockers Club in Southampton.
Supported by RMT
Solidarity With The Vestas Workers public meeting
7pm at the Unity Centre, St Leonard's Road, Rotherham
Speaker from Vestas, plus Corus worker and striker from Tower Hamlets College UCU.
All welcome. Called by the Right to Work Campaign and Vestas support group.
A public meeting on the theme of Jobs, Education, Peace and Climate will be held at 7.30pm in the London Welsh Centre, 157 Gray’s Inn Road, London, WC1X 8UE.
Speakers include Mark Flower from Vestas, NUJ General Secretary Jeremy Dear and representatives from the UCU, NUT. Organised by the NUJ but backed by other unions.
Rally outside the Government Office of the West Midlands
5pm - 6pm at 5 St Philips Place, Colmore Row, Birmingham, B3 2PW
Plus leafletting of local stations.
Called by Campaign Against Climate Change and Birmingham Trades Union Council, for more information call 07846 490 408.
5pm Churchill Square
March from the Newcastle Civic Centre through the city centre and rally outside the regional government offices, Gallowgate.
Tel. Ed 07740 099479
Protest at Vestas Warrington HQ, 302 Bridgewater Place, Birchwood Park, Warrington, WA3 6WU. 7:30am-9:00am.
Mass leafleting and holding a collection at Sheffield railway station from 4:30pm. Contact Rebecca on 07870 565 011 for more details.
For more info visit the Save Vestas blog.
A Public Meeting on Monday 7th September, in Conway Hall at 7.00pm. Speakers will include:
John McDonnell MP (Labour, Hayes and Harlington)
Bob Crow (General Secretary of the RMT - National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers)
Tony Juniper (ex Director, Friends of the Earth, Green Party candidate)
Ann Pettifor (advisor Operation Noah, fellow New Economics Foundation )
Ian Terry (worker from the Vestas wind turbine factory)
Phil Thornhill (Campaign against Climate Change)
Don't miss this important meeting on the UK's future direction in the era of Climate Emergency - are we moving full steam ahead towards Green Jobs and the Green Energy Revolution at a speed that we can and should?
This meeting also comes as part of the build up to the next "Save Vestas" National Day of Action on Thursday 17th September. Jonathan Neale from the CCC Trade Union group explains further and gives some advice on how to build for the day here.
More photos from our demo here.
On Friday the 7th August the bailiffs went in and the occupation of the Vestas wind turbine plant on the Isle of Wight ended. In response to this a National Day of Action in support of the Vestas workers and to keep the factory open, for Green Jobs and a Green Energy Revolution, was declared. There were actions all around the country organised by a diverse range of groups. See here or here (right hand column, scroll down to "Upcoming Solidarity Actions and Meetings"). In London there was a rally outside the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), No. 3 Whitehall Place at 6.30pm (see picture).
The campaign continues with another, bigger, Day of Action to Save Vestas on 17th September (note change of date from 9th)
The campaign to Save Vestas has not finished, it has just started and with it comes a campaign for a step change in the creation of Green Jobs and the Green Energy Revolution!
Thursday 6th August at 6.30pm
Outside the Dept. of Energy and Climate Change, 3 Whitehall Place.
Michael Meacher MP (see left) spoke at a rally in support of the beleaguered workers occupying the Vestas factory - and demanding the government match its words - on Green Jobs and the Green Energy Revolution - with action. Other speakers included trade unionists Billy Hayes, General Secretary of the CWU and Alex Gordon from the RMT, Jenny Jones, GLA member from the Green party, Michael from the Isle of Wight Vestas factory and Phil Thornhill from the Campaign against Climate Change.
Photos from the event here.
Demonstrators braved the rain to hear a great line up of speakers. Luckily we just about managed to finish before the real downpour started!
Just when we need a huge expansion in renewable energy they are closing down one of the two wind turbine factories in the UK. The government has spent billions bailing out the banks, and £2.3 billion in loan guarantees to support the UK car industry – they can and should step in to save the infrastructure we are really going to need to save us from climate catastrophe.
Tuesday 28th July at 6:30pm
A second lively rally was held outside Ed Miliband's Department of Energy and Climate Change on the eve of the case to take out an injunction to evict the occupiers going to court in Newport on the Isle of Wight. There was also a big demonstration of several hundreds outside Newport County Court itself at 10.00 am on the following Wednesday morning. See video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdC3SOttYCw
The London Rally was called jointly by the Campaign against Climate Change and the RMT (National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers). Speakers at the Rally included Jean Lambert MEP (Green Party), Oliver New from the RMT, Phil Thornhill from the Campaign agianst Climate Change, Drew Scanlon from the Vestas workers and Dave Timms from Friends of the Earth.
On Friday 24th July there was a public meeting in London. Speakers included Chris Baugh (PCS assistant general secretary), Seamus Milne (Guardian journalist), Jonathan Neale (Campaign against Climate Change), and Matt (Vestas worker).
Just when we need a huge expansion in renewable energy they are closing down the only wind turbine factory in the UK. The government has spent billions bailing out the banks, and £2.3 billion in loan guarantees to support the UK car industry – they can and should step in to save the infrastructure we are really going to need to save us from climate catastrophe.
[img_assist|nid=227|title=Simon Hughes MP addresses demo|align=top|width=600|height=1000|]
Around 200 people gathered outside DECC (Ed Miliband's Department of Energy and Climate Change) to protest against the government's failure to save the Vestas wind turbine factory on the isle of Wight. See photo gallery.
Speakers included Simon Hughes MP - Lib Dem shadow spokesperson for Energy and Climate Change - Darren Johnson Chair of the GLA (Green Party), and also representatives from Unison, PCS and other unions . In a lively 'old style' poltical rally many views were expressed but all called on the government to save Vestas and promote wind energy projects in the UK.
Just when we need a huge expansion in renewable energy they are closing down one of the two wind turbine factories in the UK. The government has spent billions bailing out the banks, and £2.3 billion in loan guarantees to support the UK car industry – they can and should step in to save the infrastructure we are really going to need to save us from climate catastrophe.
The Campaign against Climate Change was on the site in Newport from the night the occupation started. Cameraphone photos here.
A lively and inspiring Climate Emergency Parliament convened at Old Palace Yard in the shadow of the House of Commons, in spite of the intermittent downpours of rain.
Lucy Will as ‘Queen of Green’ and a bewigged Nick Hutton as "speaker" provided a wacky spectacle, at the start, to grab everyone’s attention. But the speeches and discussion thereafter were at the cutting edge in defining the way forward in the fight to prevent catastrophic climate change. All this despite the rain and the slightly surreal ambience.
There were 4 “Bills”. Each one was introduced by our “government spokesperson” so that the starting point for discussion was what the government is actually doing – there was then a main proposing speaker for each bill followed by points from the ‘floor’.
10% reductions in UK Greenhouse gases by the end of 2010
Proposing speaker Tim Helweg Larsen from the Public Interest Research Centre
Banning all domestic flights by the end of 2010
Proposing speaker John Stewart, chair of Airport Watch
A million and a half Green Jobs
Proposing speaker Chris Baugh, assistant General Secretary Public and Commercial Services Union.
A 55 mph national speed limit and terminating the roads program
Proposing speaker Daniel Scharf from GreenSpeed
There were also speeches from Colin Challen MP, Darren Johnson, chair of the GLA (Green Party), Deepak Rughani from BiofuelWatch, Tamsin Omond who gave a resounding advert for the ‘Climate Rush’ and an ex-worker (brother of current worker) from the threatened Vesta's wind turbine factory.
100 + people endured the rain for more than 2 hours to listen and participate - there was the sense that this makeshift gathering was much further ahead of the curve - in terms of how we can realistically face up to threat from climate change, and what the future will really look like - than those in the imposing gothic edifice close by.
Earlier in the day, we staged a photo-op at which we delivered a “Climate Emergency” letter to Ed Miliband at his Department of Energy and Climate Change, just off Whitehall
You can still join the Online Emergency Parliament here. Give us your views on what the government should be doing to cut carbon fast.
1,000 people surrounded Kingsnorth Power station demanding "No New Coal".
The "Mili-band" on Saturday July 4th was a great success! See more here.
NO NEW COAL without 100% CCS
Jean Lambert MEP (Green Party, London) addressed demonstrators (see photo left) as well as Joss Garman from Greenpeace.
The government's decision to ban new unabated coal-fired power stations represents a big move for the government in a green direction, and we congratulate them for that. But building new coal-fired power stations without 100% CCS (or close) is a recipe for disaster. Does anyone think the government will close down these new power plants if full scale CCS is found to be unworkable or hopelessly uneconomic?
And even in the - arguably rosy case scenario - that the four power stations with 20-25% CCS are successfully upgraded to 100% after 15 years they will still emit up to 275m tonnes of CO2 -around 50% of the UK's annual emissions. The latest science makes it clear that we cannot afford those kinds of levels of emissions if we are to have any half decent chance of preventing catastrophic climate change (see for example www.climatesafety.org). We cannot afford to get it just half right in the fight against climate change. The government must be told there should be no new coal-fired power stations unless they can be guaranteed to have 100% CCS from the start.
This is also about the kind of lead we're giving to other nations in the run-up to Copenhagen. We should be using CCS to reduce emissions from existing coal-fired power stations, not as an excuse to build more. This could just encourage a rash of new coal build around the world on the basis of some vague promise about CCS in the future.
The demonstration featured 2 messages for the government - one on a green poster to congratulate them on banning unabated coal, the other on a carbon-black one - to demand that they go the whole way and ban new coal without 100% CCS.
The action featured a giant ice block sculpted like an iceberg and demonstrators dressed in white with some even wearing strings of ice cubes around their necks. The backdrop to this was provided by 'Climate Emergency' placards and panels showing maps and graphs of arctic ocean ice loss.
The message was simple: polar ice is melting much faster then scientists thought and is the most visible symptom of the frightening speed with which the climate is changing. We will lose the race against climate catastrophe unless action is taken soon. This presents a far greater threat than the recession, however bad that might seem, and should be the absolute priority for the G20. If we need to inject more money into the economy then that should be done by spending it on all the many things we need to do to achieve a low carbon economy and fight climate change.
The iceberg was displayed outside the ExCeL Centre from 12 noon to seven in the evening with a photo-op at lunchtime and a small rally in the evening. The action was designed to give a clear focused message about the urgency of the climate threat, to complement the message conveyed by 'climate campers' and other climate campaigners in the City at the same time.
See the photo gallery of the event here.
Hundreds crammed into the police pen opposite Downing Street for a lively demonstration against the government decision in January to expand Heathrow with a third runway.
Speakers on the evening included Jean Lambert (Green MEP for London), Susan Kramer (Lib-Dem MP for Richmond) and John Mcdonnel (Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington where the 3rd runway would be built). There was no mistaking the energy of the protest and the strength of the movement against the expansion of Heathrow. This event was one of a number of protests against the government decision carried on by a swelling coalition of groups and individuals. Additional speakers on the evening were John Stewart from HACAN, Anna Jones from Greenpeace, Phil Thornhill for the CCC and Linda McCutcheon from NOTRAG and a resident of Sipson village (which will be obliterated by a third runway).
Some more photos here.
There had been an earlier lunch-time photo-call at the Department of Transport - on the theme of "the Brown Past" and the "Green Future" with Lucy Wills representing the latter and Chris Kitchen as a 'caveman' Gordon Brown representing the former. The message was for an end to 'carbon-intensive-growth-as-usual' and for the government to be taking the kind of investment decisions that will plot the path towards a low carbon economy as fast as possible - a crash program for deep emission cuts in the short term that will provide thousands of 'green jobs' and help lift us out of the recession.
At the same time as the anti-Heathrow demo there was a "counter-demonstration" in Parliament Square. This numbered a score or so of people - but apparently quite a few of these were 'Plane Stupid' infiltrators! Who actually was behind this "counter-demonstration"? Well first of all note that it was supported by the climate-sceptic networks - see here. And apparently it was organised by something calling itself the "Modern Movement" - see here . However on scratching the surface the "modern movement" turns out to be yet another manifestation of the networks associated with "Living Marxism" and with their origin in the RCP (Revolutionary Communist Party). See here. This bunch have effected a bizarre transformation from extreme left to extreme libertarian right ..they include Martin Durkin, producer of "The Great Global Warming Swindle" - see here. Disinformation and misleading the public (latterly by trying to pretend there is a grass-roots movement in favour of Heathrow expansion) is their stock-in-trade.
We've let Gordon Brown know what a burke he is if he thinks he's going to overcome the tidal wave of opposition he will have to face if he tries to push ahead with this fantastically stupid decision. He's still stuck in the last century world of carbon-intensive-growth-as-usual - lets wake him up to the 21st century, to the low carbon economy of the future! Something that Brown's New Labour clearly fails to understand as it now shows itself to be the most crassly environmentally retrograde and destructive of all the parties.
The so called 'environmental safeguards' that this government has concocted for its Heathrow expansion plans are nothing more than window dressing and a smokescreen. If there is another runway there will be (a lot) more flights and if there are more flights there will be (a lot) more emissions. There is no method remotely on the scientific/engineering horizon to substantially reduce aircraft emissions. And residents around Heathrow have heard these kind of promises before: they know what they are worth - absolutely nothing.
The argument about jobs is misplaced. If the government was doing what really needs to be done to convert Britain to a low carbon economy as soon as possible then it would be creating tens of thousands of new green jobs. Only those jobs would be helping to win the fight against catastrophic climate change - not to lose it !
We are going to fight this plan - and we are going to win ! But there are other reasons why we need to challenge this decision as loudly and energetically as we can.
Over the past few years there has been an avalanche of scientific evidence that the threat from catastrophic climate change is more grave and more imminent than we had ever thought. See here. scientists now tell us that we have less than ten years in which to stop and reverse the the global growth in greenhouse gas emissions. The UN Talks this December in Copenhagen are widely seen as the last chance to secure an international deal that will make that possible ( to join our protest there see here.) . At this critical juncture it is the height of irresponsibility to send a signal to the world that we in the UK are not going to make the fight against climate change our number one priority but are happy to carry on with 'carbon-intensive-growth as-usual' - no matter that it is the poorest and most vulnerable around the world who will suffer from our soaring emissions the most. If our government cannot send a positive signal to the world then we, the people of the UK have to show that we do take climate change and the huge threat it poses to the global community seriously - by challenging the crass retrogressive decisions that our government makes - as loudly and energetically as we can!
List of speakers:
Jean Lambert (Green MEP for London)
Susan Kramer (Lib-Dem MP for Richmond)
John Mcdonnel (Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington where the 3rd runway would be built)
John Stewart (HACAN)
Anna Jones (Greenpeace)
Phil Thornhill (Campaign against Climate Change)
Linda McCutcheon (NOTRAG)
Most recent nearest the top
The National Climate March 2008 filled the streets of London again - thanks to everyone who made it another great success!
This time thousands marched on Parliament to demand action from the UK government on climate change.
Protestors carried banners and placards saying 'No New Coal', 'No Third Runway', 'Stop Agrofuels' and 'Time for a Green New Deal'.
Protestors were also demanding meaningful action on climate from world leaders and their representatives at the Poznan Climate Talks. The demonstration was part of a Global Day of Action in which around 70 countries were involved.
Speakers included Nick Clegg (leader of the Liberal Democrats), Caroline Lucas (leader of the Green Party) and John McDonnel (Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington).
The marchers gathered at Grosvenor Square on a crisp and sunny winters day. A colourful and noisy throng brought their message through the streets of London to the very doorstep of government. Protestors displayed the kind of colourful creativity in costumes, banners and assorted props, that we have come to expect from climate marches. A notable new addition this year were the '4 horsemen of the apocalypse'. Disciplined chanting at the front of the march was followed up by assorted samba beats and other sounds further down the long trail of demonstrators.
Hundreds of cyclists, meanwhile, started the day early, gathering at Lincolns Inn Fields and progressing via the offices of Greenergy for an agrofuels protest organised by Biofuelwatch, the offices of EON for a protest against New Coal, and finally the Department of Transport to call for sustainable transport. They joined the marchers in Grosvenor Square just ten minutes before they started off.
Just before the march there was also a Climate Change Service at Hinde Street church
In Parliament Square speakers included Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats, who promised that his party would not neglect the need to takle climate change in the face of the global recession. Caroline Lucas, leader of the Green Party, spoke with her usual eloquence on the need for a New Green Deal, while John McDonnel, the Labour MP whose constituency includes Heathrow, spoke passionately about the building alliance between climate campaigners and his constituents who were resisting Heathrow's expansion. Other speakers included Kirsty Wright from the World Development Movement speaking on 'No New Coal', Almuth Ernsting from Biofuelwatch on the damage caused by agrofuels, Jonathan Neal from CCC on a Green New Deal, Mark Dowd from Operation Noah, Muzammal Hussain from the London Islamic Network for the Environment, Korshed Alam an activist from Bangladesh, Mel from the Climate Camp, Matthew Williams from the UK Youth Climate Coalition, and finally Phil Thornhill, the National Coordinator of CCC, to wind up the speches. Meanwhile Nick Hutton, CCC Treasurer gave an impassioned appeal for cash (or better standing orders)- the CCC can't continue the work it does without it - and everyone was warmed up by some fantastic tunes from from 'Seize the Day'.
A letter was handed in to Downing Street by Jonathan Essex, Christine Taylor, Ruth, Helen, Sophie and Thomas Jarman. See the letter here.
Later on demonstrators thawed out at the After-Party in the Synergy Centre
The Climate March on Parliament had four main themes -
1) NO to a 3rd runway at Heathrow and the runaway expansion in aviation expansion.
2) NO new coal - no new coal-fired power stations as planned at eg Kingsnorth in Kent
3) NO to the expansion of agrofuels - with negative impacts on forests, the climate and world food supply.
4) YES to a renewable energy revolution and green jobs - a "Green new Deal"
The Climate March also marked the Saturday midway through the UN Climate Talks in Poznan, Poland and we made our demands on the UK government in solidarity with the world's poorest and most vulnerable communities that will suffer worst and most immediately from climate change caused overwhelmingly by the rich long-industrialised countries.
News Article from the BBC.
List of speakers:
Nick Clegg (leader of the Liberal Democrats)
Caroline Lucas (leader of the Green Party)
John McDonnel (Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington)
Kirsty Wright (World Development Movement)
Almuth Ernsting (Biofuelwatch)
Jonathan Neal (Campaign against Climate Change)
Mark Dowd (Operation Noah)
Muzammal Hussain (London Islamic Network for the Environment)
Korshed Alam (An activist from Bangladesh)
Mel (Climate Camp)
Matthew Williams (UK Youth Climate Coalition)
Phil Thornhill (Campaign against Climate Change - National Coordinator).
Nick Hutton (Campaign against Climate Change - Treasurer)
Seize the Day
Zac Goldsmith Editor of the Ecologist magazine.
Bob Crow General Secretary of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT)
Benedict Southworth Executive Director of the World Development Movement.
Phil Thornhill National Coordinator, Campaign against Climate Change
Zac Goldsmith Editor of the Ecologist magazine.
Bob Crow General Secretary of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT)
Benedict Southworth Executive Director of the World Development Movement.
Phil Thornhill National Coordinator, Campaign against Climate Change
The National March Planning Meeting (and CCC AGM) was held on Saturday October 4th in London - at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) Room G2 (Russell Square Tube). The meeting was very constructive with some interesting discussion around the resolutions and lots of creative ideas for building the National Climate march and boosting our campaigns brewing up out of the workshops.
The agenda and resolutions are below.
Protestors spilling out of the end of Rochester high street
Hundreds gathered in Rochester for a rally in the high street followed by a 7 mile march to Kingsnorth power station, to demand NO NEW COAL - and no new coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth. This was a great showpiece event to help launch the Camp for Climate Action and generally emphasise the critical importance of the decision over Kingsnorth and the need to stop and reverse the expansion of coal-burning for power around the world. The march was joined by the Climate Camp "caravan" which had spent the previous week making its way from Heathrow, the site of last year's climate camp.
Speakers at the Rochester Rally included Ashok Sinha, Executive Director of Stop Climate Chaos, Caroline Lucas MEP (Green Party), Sean Furey, Deputy Director of the Kent Branch, Campaign to Protect Rural England, Benedict Southworth Executive Director of the World Development Movement, James Lloyd of People and Planet, Penny Eastwood from the Camp for Climate Action, Maureen Ruparel Lib Dem Medway councillor, Steve Wilkins from Medway Trades Council, James Willis from Kingsnorth Climate Action Medway and Phil Thornhill from the Campaign against Climate Change.
The day began with a series of short but punchy speeches delivered from a soapbox, near the Blue Boar lane car park, on Rochester High Street. There was a great mix of 'national' and local speakers - making for a genuinely varied perspective on the issue. Then the cavalcade gathered to march down Rochester High street led by 2 "dinosaurs", the (7 foot cubed) globe-in-a-greenhouse, CCC banner, Caravan banner, Caravan polar bear, all manner of cycle-drawn paraphernalia and an endless parade of dinosaurs...(well, dinosaur posters..)... emphasising the theme that unabated coal-burning power stations should belong to prehistory !
The march numbers held up well over the 7 mile route - we even gained a few as well as losing some. There was a quite surprising amount of sympathetic support from local people - though also we have to report some shouted abuse from the head-in-sand brigade whose courage seemed to be mainly of the dutch variety given that they seemed to be concentrated at certain drinking establishments. All the while the distant looming sillhouette of the power station grew closer untill we finally gathered together at one of its subsidiary gates - under the watchful eyes of a very considerable police presence. There were brief final speches and notices before we dispersed - many going 'en masse' with the 'caravan' to the Climate Camp - others being shuttled back to Rochester station. At this point the weather broke ..but reinforced our appreciation for the clement weather up till now...
The media coverage for the march was excellent - with some TV, lots of radio, before during & after the march, pictures in the Metro, Financial times, London Paper, lots of lcoal papers etc...etc...
During the following week the Climate Camp made a very great splash in the media, of course, very succesfully highlighting the issue - the insanity of building new coal-fired power stations in the midst of the climate crisis. The CCC had a stall in camp advertsing the December National climate March and Global Day of Action and many CCC members were involved with the camp. The situation with the police was especially fraught at this year's camp (cue endless stories, personal anecdotes....etc..) but a mixture of determination and restraint saw the camp through, sticking to its goal of highlighting the issue through Direct Action. Many of Sunday's marchers found themselves back at the gates of the power station just under a week later on the Saturday Climate Camp Day of Action.
Humorous Aside: Amongst the dangerous items seized by the police were 2 dinosaur costumes !!! (presumably under the little known ordinance of 1384, article 3 para 2 "wilfully causing alarm by impersonating a prehistoric animal etc.." or the Statute of Silly Costumes 1493, "conspiracy to masquerade as an evolutionary anachronism...etc etc..").
See more information on coal here.
The Climate Forum hit a high with a positive effervescence of multi-faceted perspectives on the climate crisis.
"Positivity" and "Negativity" battled it out on Saturday's major plenary with contributions from Michael Meacher MP, Caroline Lucas MEP, Tony Juniper (Director, Friends of the Earth), Isabel Fremaux from the Climate Camp and the Campaign's own Phil Thornhill.
The Sunday 'International Plenary', meanwhile, exposed the audience to some perhaps less familiar perspectives from around the world - with Bangladesh, Nigeria, Belgium, Taiwan, Spain, Senegal and the Phillipines all represented on the panel. Workshops (50+!) as ever covered a multiplicity of themes but some very constructive, no-nonsense, discussion was had on major campaigning themes like Heathrow/Aviation and Kingsorth/New Coal. In particular John Macdonnel MP was able to offer a detailed and up to date analysyis of where the Heathrow campaign now stood - to those who made it to the early Sunday morning seminar!
Read more here.
Demonstration at Heathrow is big success!
The demonstration at Heathrow was a big success with thousands demanding "No third runway" and "no runway expansion in avaiation" and many calling on the government to "get real on climate change". A colourful procession including local residents, and bus-loads of climate campaigners from as far afield as North Wales and Matlock, left Hatton Cross tube station, and marched around the perimeter of the airport with the 7 foot square CCC 'globe-in-a-greenhouse' on wheels in the thick of the throng, giving a clear climate change message. As the long snake of protestors reached the BAA offices on the Bath Road shouts of "No 3rd Runway" got louder. Soon after that the cavalcade finally thread its way into Sipson village - which will be destroyed if the 3rd runway goes ahead. Here 3,000+ formed a giant 'NO'- an image that was beamed around the media, making the day a huge media success for the campaign. John McDonnell, the local MP, acted as master of ceremonies and George Monbiot spoke to the crowd before everyone retired to enjoy local hostelries and entertainments in the streets of Sipson.
The timetable for the day was as follows:
12pm assemble at Hatton Cross Tube station
12.50: two speakers (Archbishop Address and Deputy Mayor of London to lead off)
1pm: Carnival moves off. It will process around the airport to Sipson village, a distance of around two and a half miles.
2.30: Big NO begins
3.30: Big NO address
4pm: speakers on main stage
5pm: Sipson Street party : there will be food, stalls, drink and plenty to do for kids from face-painting to bouncy castles
On Tuesday 15th April 2008 the CCC joined forces with Biofuelwatch to protest against the RTFO and the devestating impacts caused by a massive increase in biofuels. The protest, staged outside Downing Street at 6.00 pm, was the largest demonstration yet against biofuels and was widely reported on the day. Speakers at the demo included Ronnie Hall of the Global Forest Coalition, Kenneth Richter of Friends of the Earth, Pete Riley, campaign director of GM Freeze, Andrew Boswell of Biofuelwatch and Phil Thornhill of Campaign against Climate Change. Earlier in the day at 1.00 pm there was a very succesful photo-call and mini-demo outside the Department of Transport.
Photos from April 15th demos in London:
Lunchtime photo-op and mini-demo outside the Department of Transport, 1:00pm to 2:00 pm
Here we are with all our displays outside the Department of Transport at lunchtime on April 15th - and loads of press photographers have turned up.
More Photos here.
The main evening demo outside Downing Street, around 6:00pm to 7:30pm
More Photos here.
Aberdeen Campaign against Climate Change held a banner protest outside BP. They also held a demo outside Royal Bank of Scotland, Union Street who are financing the Ensus biofuel refinery and another in Ireland.
Brighton biofuel activists made a colourful banner and flyer tour of Brighton city centre and Sussex University on Tuesday, talking to people taking all forms of public transport and dropping windscreen alerts to raise awareness around the new RTFO. For more photos and a press release, see: http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2008/04/396734.html .
Members of Bristol Rising Tide and Espacio Bristol –Colombia held a protest outside a Tesco petrol station in Eastville, Bristol from to highlight the devastating consequences that agrofuels from monocultures will have on the climate, ecosystems, food prices and human rights. Tesco are a major investor in agrofuels and have been a biofuel market leader amongst UK supermarkets.
Traffic Lights for Peace leafleted the petrol station at Tesco's in Cirencester on April 15th to highlight the instigation of the RTFO.
Cheltenham Friends of the Earth organised and attended a peaceful banner protest at Tescos, which was supported by Campaign Against Climate Change Gloucester and Stroud Green Party. Within minutes security had removed protestors from the premises. Despite the foul weather over a 150 leaflets were distributed to passing motorists and were very well received.
An anonymous group of agrofuel activists disabled several pumps at two BP filling stations. BP was targeted as a major investor in agrofuels.
Separately, and later in the day, some 25 people held a lawful banner protest outside the BP petrol station in Bruntsfield, Edinburgh. The protest was organised by Agrofuel Action Edinburgh. People dressed as trees formed a “forest” and handed out leaflets about the damaging effects of agrofuels and BP's involvement. Edinburgh Rebel Clown Army members then “deforested” them and the “trees” started to emit black CO2 balloons. Others “greenwashed” the BP sign with green water and a mop. The spectacle was accompanied by a strong police and media presence. Unfortunately, 5 clowns who had created a fun, party-like, light-hearted atmosphere at the protest were suddenly surrounded by police and arrested. They were charged with Breach of the Peace for ‘milling around’. Read more about the arrests here ... and here ... and here ... and here and here for a slide show.
Thirty activist of "agrocrisis" blocked the gates of the Cargill factory in Ghent (Belgium). Several activist are chained to the main gate blocking entrance to trucks.
Protesters against biofuels dropped a banner at Charing Cross today, to draw attention to the use of food to make petrol. See Indymedia report
There was also a protest at the BP station near Anniesland in Glasgow on 19th April. Banners were hung and leaflets handed out to motorists for an hour and a half.
On April 15th to draw attention to the Renwable Transport Fuel Obligation, Campaign against Climate Change Gloucester targeted shoppers at Tesco's largest Gloucester store, at St. Oswald's site.
About 12 people from Hitchin and Lethworth held a protest on 12th April, calling on the UK government to drop the RTFO.
Huddersfield Friends of the Earth organised a banner protest with leafleting outside the constituency office of Hilary Benn, Secretary of State for the Environment.
Campaigners from Manchester held a banner protest with costumes, samba music and an orang-utan costume outside the constituency office of Ruth Kelley, Secretary of State for Transport, the minister directly responsible for the RTFO.
On April 15th Traffic Lights for Peace protested at the main Tesco in Stroud at the government's introduction of the RTFO and Tesco's position as market leader at the forecourt. Many customers were bemused by the Government's apparent lack of thought into the issue, especially in view of majority world food shortages.
See pictures and more details & links here.
On Saturday April 5th CCC activists were in Parliament Square demanding that the loophole that left (international) aviation out of the Climate Bill be plugged.
If the UK cap on emissions leaves out a major and rapidly growing source of emissions then its not a cap at all! And if aviation was included in the Climate Bill there'd be no need for a third runway at Heathrow. We need a realistic climate bill and a limit to the runaway growth in aviation!
See more info and photos here.
On Saturday April 5th CCC activists were in Parliament Square demanding that the loophole that left (international) aviation out of the Climate Bill be plugged.
If the UK cap on emissions leaves out a major and rapidly growing source of emissions then its not a cap at all! And if aviation was included in the Climate Bill there'd be no need for a third runway at Heathrow. We need a realistic climate bill and a limit to the runaway growth in aviation!
See more info and photos here.
April 1st saw CCC campaigners at a demonstration against Kingsnorth and a new wave of coal-fired power stations (see more here) in Parliament Square before moving on to conduct a demonstration outside the London offices of Argent Group PLC who are behind the UK's biggest opencast coal mine at Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales - see more here.
Campaign against Climate Change joined 'People and Planet' (the student environmentalists' organisation) in exposing the foolery of building a new coal-fired power plant at Kingsnoth and reverting to dinosaur coal technology just when we urgently need to reduce emissions.
Some familiar CCC faces (and a familiar CCC T-shirt) at the demo, with a message for the people across the road. (And those fossil fools again!)
The Campaign against Climate Change Trade Union Conference on Saturday 9th February, at the University of London Union, was a great success with more than 300 attending. Get your Union to join the campaign - see here.
Below is a link to the PDF of the conference programme.
The Campaign against Climate Change Trade Union Conference on Saturday 9th February, at the University of London Union, was a great success with more than 300 attending. Get your Union to join the campaign - see here.
Below is a link to the PDF of the conference programme.
|Trade Union Conference programme (PDF)||316.05 KB|
Despite torrential rain, and the worst weather you could wish for, the National Climate march was a great sucess - with up to 10,000 people turning up to show that they felt passionately enough about the issue not to be put off by the horrendous conditions.
Thursday November 8th, saw the Friends Meeting House packed out for a tremendous Public meeting
For information and photos see The Climate Bill page.
Organised in partnership by the Campaign against Climate Change,
the London School of Economics and LSE's Centre for
Environmental Policy and Governance.
The Conference was a great success - providing an amazing range of high quality seminars and workshops for those attending. A broad range of views, and differing political perspectives was provided at the Saturday Plenary whilst the International Plenary on the Sunday ( a new departure since last year's Conference), with its line up of 12 fantastic speakers from all around the globe - was a real treat, a unique eye-opener of an experience not to be missed : you simply could not come away from it without having a different and much deeper perspective on what climate change really means for people all round the world.
Public meeting hosted by SOAS Green Group
This was a lively, well-attended meeting, held on the Vernon Square campus of the School of African and Oriental studies. First to speak was Mika Mina Paluello, from Platform , who filled us in with details about the curent status of ExxonMobil's oil business, and the massive investment they have made in finding new oil reserves - an investment they are determined to protect at all costs. Next was Claire Fauset, from Corporate Watch, who explained why she thought "genocide" might not be an inappropriate term to describe the impacts of Exxon's climate disinformation campaign over the last ten years or more. She went on to say that now that we were winning the argument about the seriousness of the climate threat we had to face the problem of the "decoy" - that is things that purported to be part of the solution - like carbon "offsetting" - but which were really nothing of the sort. Brief contributions followed from Derek Wall, principal speaker of the Green Party who reminded us that the people who were "murdering the planet had names and addresses" (as in the famous quote) and Martin Empson from Respect, who emphasised the need for a popular movement to force governments and companies to act. Jeremy Legget, Director of 'Solar Century' and author of "The Carbon War" and "Half gone", then returned the focus squarely onto Exxon and their misdeeds over the last ten years and his personal experience of their devious manouevres. He emphasised that campaigning against them had had results and that in certain areas they were already on the retreat.
Phil Thornhill (CCC national coordinator) emphasised that even if they were no longer "denying' climate change Exxon (and the people they funded) were still dangerously undermining the arguments for action, in other ways - like suggesting we did not need mandatory emissions cuts because "new technologies" would solve the problem. He also drew everyone's attention to the demo at Exxon HQ on Good Friday and said that all creative contributions to this would be really welcome. Then the floor was open for discussion until Chris Huhne MP - the Lib Dem shadow environment secretary - arrived. He had been expected late because of a vote in parliament, but was now able to tell us about his personal experience of Exxon, who, in a personal phone call to him, had tried to discredit the author of a letter written on behalf of the Royal society, criticising Exxon's funding of climate disinformation. Chris Huhne went on to outline some of the Lib Dem plans for tackling climate change and, once the floor was open, a lively debate ensued with different political approaches exlored and various aspects of climate policy explored. Jeremy Legget argued the need for "positive feedback loops" between consumers and companies while Claire Fauset and Derek Wall were sceptical about whether companies would ever really be part of the solution. What was apparent, above all, however was that people from a very wide spectrum of differing views were united in their abhorrence of ExxonMobil's climate disinformation record. The vigorous debate was chaired - with his usual Solomonic wisdom - by Nick Hutton. All in all a lively and interesting evening before participants retired to the Golden Lion and/or to consider their imaginitive contibution to the great Day of Anti-Exxon Action on Good Friday.
Our Christmas Vigil 2006, with a special Christmas Present suggestion for the current US administration.....
The vigil was well attended and very sociable whilst we mixed a festive season atmosphere with our ever-urgent message.... .A select band also made it to the pub for the Crimbo Party - food, drinks and a convivial end to a great year's campaigning!
Demo is Huge Success!
Up to 20,000 on march, another 10,000 in Trafalgar Square. Thanks everyone for making it happen!
The 4th November was the Saturday before the UN Climate Talks (COP 12/ MOP 2) in Nairobi (6th-17th November). On this day there were demonstrations and events, demanding urgent action on climate change all round the world ( see www.globalclimatecampaign.org ). In Nairobi, itself, there will be a demonstration on Saturday 11th November, midway through the Talks, whilst the delegates are actually present.
The London demo was a huge success with an overall turn out more than twice that of last year(see below ) when we had 10,000 on the streets of London. The day kicked off early in Grosvenor Square, outside the US embassy at 11.00 am, with poetry and performance from avariety of artists. Then, as the Square began to fill things really livened up as "Seize the Day" took the stage with their brand of 'protest-folk' . Meanwhile the Cycle Protest, starting out from Lincoln's Inn Fields, had already demonstrated outside the Australian embassy and had also delivered a letter to No 10 Downing street, demanding a Climate Bill, with ANNUAL targets amongst other things. The cyclists arrived - noisily - in the Square, all 600 or so of them, just as our first speaker, Collin Challen MP had started. More great speeches followed from Norman Baker MP for the Lib Dems, Caroline Lucas MEP, for the Greens, Zac Goldsmith (was it for the Tories or for the Ecologist magazine?) and Raniya Khan for respect. Next we had none other than our local prelate, the Bishop of London , speaking eloquently about how climate change would hit the poor. And finally our Honorary President and star speaker campaigning journalist George Monbiot, who was on the very best of form. There remained Phil Thornhill, Campaign Coordinator to round things off and invite everyone to join the "March for Global climate Justice".
By now the square was swarming with folk and buzzing with all kind of activity. Some kind of order was formed out of chaos as our veteran 'globe-in-a-greenhouse' headed the prcession out of the square, with all manner of flag and placard-wielding folk behind. A samba band had started in one part of the square, whilst a New orleans Jazz band livened up the departing throng. Yet another kind of sound was provided by a lone Scotch piper near the front of the march. Amazingly the great cavalcade of sound and activity reached Trafalgar Square on schedule - though since the march stretched just about all the way back to Grosvenor Square from here it took some tme for all the marchers to find their way into the square to witness what remained of the "I Count" rally with assorted celebs and a band (whose name I never get right). Altogether it was a fantastic triumph with the march on its own possibly twice as big as last years - not to mention the folk already gathered in Trafalgar Square. See more photos from the demo here
Meanwhile the international demonstrations and events, we already knew, were taking place in over 40 countries - twice as many as last year. And by now we'd had reports that there had been 40, 000 in Sydney, 30, 000 in Melbourne and maybe 90,000 in 20+ locations all round Australia. Colourful demonstrations in Taiwan and Korea, too. And the reports are still coming in from all round the world . See www.globalclimatecampaign.org .
This was the timetable for the day in London:
|10.00am||Cycle protest assembles at Lincolns Inn Fields, South side (Holborn/Temple tube). Goes via ExxonMobil offices, Australian Embassy and Downing Street to arrive at US embasy at 11.30 am. For more information on the cycle ride click here.|
|11.00am||Rally opens : Messages from around the world, performance poetry & musical protest with "Seize the Day" and others.|
|Speakers include George Monbiot, Colin Challen MP, Caroline Lucas MEP, Norman Baker MP, Zac Goldsmith.|
|1.00 pm|| March for Global Climate Justice from US embassy to Trafalgar Square.
See the route of the march here.
|1.45 2.00 pm||March joins I-Count Mass Gathering in Trafalgar Square|
| 1.00 - 3.00
I-Count Mass Gathering in Trafalgar Square
For the Downing Street demo for a strong Climate Bill, a couple of weeks after the National Climate March, in November see here.
"Global Climate Justice" Meeting in Conway Hall is packed out.
The Public Meeting on Global Climate Justice in the Conway Hall, on the evening of Wednesday 4th October, was a great success.
The star amongst the speakers was undoubtably George Monbiot who has just published his new book "Heat" in which he outlines how we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 90% by 2030. The speeches kicked off however with Benedict Southworth, Director of the World Development Movement who set the scene by outlining how climate change is rapidly becoming the major development issue. And its the rich industrialised countries to blame: did you know that Drax power station in Yorkshire emits - on its own - more than several African countries put together ? Next we had journalist Johann Hari's perspective on the issue - with some interesting information on climate change impacts in the Congo. Tony Kearns - standing in for Billy Hayes of the Communications Workers Union - gave a Union perspective on climate change - not something we hear that often. Claire Fauset organiser from the Drax Climate Camp and Protest - which attracted a lot of media attention this August - put the case for more Direct Action campaigning on climate change. Phil Thornhill , Coordinator of Campaign against Climate Change had a list of things that irritated him, but managed to say a few things about the likely devestaing impacts of climate change on the Global South at the same time. Finally George Monbiot - the man everyone had come to listen to - spoke with his usual eloquence and finished off by saying that though he had shown how it was possible to avoid runaway global warming it was up to us to produce the political pressure to make it happen !
There followed a lively debate ably chaired by Romayne Phoenix from the Green Party with many good points from the floor. At the end most people felt it had been a great meeting and there was a feeling of exhiliration and empowerment to build November 4th into a really groundbreaking demo and to go on beyond that to build the really massive campaign we need in our struggle to prevent catastrophic climate change.
The world is heading for a “Hell” of Climate – Chaos : melting ice caps, massive flooding, stronger storms and wilder hurricanes, scorching heatwaves, droughts, famines…… wars over diminishing resources .
We urgently need strong coordinated action at the international level to save the world from the ‘hellish’ ecocatastrophe that a permanently destabilised climate will bring. But right now that action is being blocked and sabotaged by the Bush administration in the US.
Bush and the fossil-fuel industry cronies that dominate his administration are the beelzebubs of doom, doing a devilish job of dragging us all into CLIMATE HELL.
As the G8 leaders met in St Petersburg we held a "protest party" outside the embassy of the country most responsible for setting a policy direction that can only lead to planetary catastrophe. Our message : "As long as "Energy Security" is the priority, extreme "Planetary Insecurity" will be the result. Until the global environment is priority number one, G8 leaders will continue to fail the people of the world, and condemn future generations to the hell of 'climate chaos'".
Continuing on from the last day of action the London group of the Campaign against Climate Change returned to the U.S. Embassy to remind the people inside that neither the issue nor the protests will stop until they stop acting like Gagsters and start taking action that is needed.
The area just in front of the Embassy was of limits to us and any possibility of moving the barriers was out of the question due to our lack of "barrier moving training".
The trade mark Greenhouse was assembled in record time with no complications and with a variety of people in the appropriate dress it was time to get the party underway.
Tea was ready available along with the usual array of postcards, leaflets, badges and sheets for names and email address of supporters.
Also with the aid of 30's music and a wide range of live performers with a substantial sound setup the entertainment factor far exceeded even our optimistic expectations.
The Party was hosted by The Rub (Revolutionation) with guests includin Sarah Bear, MC Excentral Tempest (Bones of Contention) and the Dreadful Jasper (Synergy).
Thankfully the weather was one our side for the whole day and offer of a free cup of tea was too tempting an offer for some to refuse.
We had support from a wide spectrum of people from Americans, Japanese, British and even a couple of local police. More names added to the even increasing list of supporters understandable eager for next months party.
The theme of the next party has not been 100% decided but we will once again hope to build on our success and come up with even more imaginative and entertaining was to get our point across that a problem that will effect every one will need involvement from everyone.
Thanks once again to all the supporters, performers, helpers and the local law enforcement (for their patience.)
See you all next time.
Our Climate Conference at the London School of Economics was a great success with more than 400 people attending!
Thanks to all our speakers and everyone at LSE..... and everyone who turned up to make the day a great success!
There was a fantastic range of seminars & workshops in the morning, with a superb selection of speakers to match.
The speaker line up for our pleanary session was: Phil Thornhill, Campaign Coordinator introducing, then Michael Meacher MP, Caroline Lucas MEP (Green Party), Norman Baker, MP (Lib Dems), Mark Lynas, (Climate Change author & journalist), Goksen Sahin (from the Istanbul Climate Campaign), Lucy Pearce (from Stop Climate Chaos) and finally George Marshall (Co-director Climate Outreach & Information Network) who elicited some rousing audience participation with a highy entertaining "question and answer" session.
As part of the National Day of Action on Climate Change, the London group staged the first of what will be monthly events outside the U.S. Embassy at Grosvenor Square.
The threat of an impending tea-party had apparently got the park authorities spooked and the entire space had been locked for May 20th for 'Security Reasons'. Preparations for thousands of tea-party participants had been made outside the embassy in what can only be described as overkill to suit the most commited mad hatter.
Preparations soon got underway in earnest: police looked on suspiciously as the greenhouse was erected, this was followed by general confusion diffusing through the constabulary as a white rabbit, mad hatter, caterpillar and playing card appeared along with Alice.
Later the music was provided by The Green Worriers + Richard Travan and then Rhythms of Resistance. Tea was served, cucumber sandwiches, cake and flapjacks consumed, along with organic apple juice provided by Shane Collins fund raising for the Green Party. Amongst notable events during as the music played was a (non too rare) example of Nick Hutton's dancing.
Overall we had a good day with the rain largely staying in abeyance and a lot of interesting conversations going on. The turnout was good considering the weather and many people had travelled from far and wide to be there, including someone who had made the journey all the way from Bristol to make tea, and who continued to provide tea for everyone throughout the whole event on his portable camping stove. Thanks indeed for that!
This was a huge success! Thanks to everyone who took part and helped make it happen.
December 3rd 2005 was the Saturday midway through the "MOP" (First "Meeting of Parties" to the Kyoto Protocol) Climate Talks in Montreal, 28th November-9th December. The London Demo was part of the International Day of Climate Protest with climate demos all around the world from Montreal to Japan. For photos click here.
We helped to create a global wave of protest to press for the urgent action we need to prevent the catastrophic destabilisation of global climate!
10,000 is the figure given by the 'Independent on Sunday' for the number of marchers on what was a groundbreaking event for climate campaigning in the UK.
The day started with 60 or so cyclists setting off from the Thames Barrier, pennants flying, but this number soon swelled to 200 or so. Meanwhile Britain's biggest ever climate demo - by a long chalk - was massing in Lincoln's Inn Fields. The long snake of protestors finally set off past an impromptu anti-ExxonMobil protest by several tiger-suited demonstrators lurking in the dooorway of the Esso London offices - and then the Australian embassy (John Howard's government is partner-in-crime to the US in not ratifying Kyoto), onto the embankment. The marchers braved a brief torrential downpour as they proceeded up Whitehall and a letter was handed in to Number 10, by Honorary CCC President George Monbiot and others - including 10 and 4 year old Ross and Ursula Moncrieff (on behalf of future generations).
The march (quite a long one!) terminated at Grosvenor Square in front of the US embassy where demonstrators were greeted with protest songs from David Rovics. Next National coordinator Phil Thornhill said a few words, harking back to his protest of 'one' five years ago, and then Michael Meacher MP kicked off the speeches, telling Tony Blair not to 'kow tow to Bush' on climate. The impressive list of speakers included Caroline Lucas, Green MEP, Benedict Southworth, Director of the World Development Movement, Elaine Graham-Leigh from RESPECT, Fazlun Khalid, Director of the Islamic Foundation for Ecology and the Environmental Sciences, Ruth Jarman for Christian Ecology Link (who held a child in one hand and a polar bear in the other!), Norman Baker MP (Environment shadow for the Lib Dems), a speaker from 'Rising Tide', Nick Rau from Friends of the Earth, Jonathan Neale on behalf of Globalise Resistance, Peter Bunyard, Scientific editor from the Ecologist (just back from the Amazon) and finally CCC honorary president George Monbiot - who declared that we actually need 90% cuts in global emissions by 2030.
Meanwhile around 400 protestors took to the streets in Edinburgh. See more, here.
And demonstrations calling for urgent action on climate change were taking off, all round the world! Before the cyclists had even set off from the Thames Barrier we heard the news that 3,500 had demonstrated in Sydney with around 10,000 all round Australia. Later there were 2,000 in Istanbul and 1,000 each in two other Turkish ciites. Finally in the 'centre-piece' protest in Montreal a reported 35,000 protestors converged on the Climate Talks conference centre. We've heard, too, of 500 in Helsinki (700 all round Finland), 400 in Mexico city, 200 at 2 separate locations in Greece, maybe 200 in Bulgaria, 100 in Romania, 200 in Seoul, 120 in Ekaterinburg in Russia, 75 in Zagreb Croatia ...small numbers, maybe, but many of these are places seeing their first ever demonstration on climate change ......and we've had pictures, too, of the march in Dhaka, Bangladesh, a country gravely threatened by climate change, see more here.
For pictures from the international demonstrations on the same day see here.
Photo copyright Andrew Or
Photo Andrew Fuller
The Kyoto Climate March was in the news well before it started, billed as part of a wave of international demonstrations around the world (see here) - something which we had been working to create. So we had already succeeded in our goal of amplifying the significance of the coming into force of the Kyoto Protocol (happening the following Wednesday 16th February) and emphasising the isolation of the US - as almost the only country not prepared to do its bit to avert a global catastrophe - even before the demo had started.
The demo kicked off with a band of cyclists, 30 or 40 strong, gathering at the Thames Barrier, symbolic of the threat from climate change to London, itself. The Barrier is being used more and more often as every year passes and may have to be rebuilt bigger in 20 or 30 years. Cyclists posed for photos and fixed flags to their bikes before setting off along the Thames, flags streaming in a colourful array, towards Lincoln's Inn Fields where the march proper was soon to start.
In Lincoln's Inn Fields a small industry was underway, as people assembled for the march, fixing flags to bamboo poles and handing them around. In the end we had all 141 of our national flags, representing all the current signatories to the Kyoto Protocol, which we were going to take to the US embassy to emphasise their isolation on this crucial issue for the world.
Finally, with all 141 flags waiving, and the samba band striking up, we set off. Out in front was our globe-in-a-greenhouse, the 'Statue of taking Liberties' and 'Uncle-Sam-the-Grim-Reaper' waving a flag with a burning globe. Behind, there streamed a great long colurful throng, livened up by the samba band, the famous Rinky Dink bicycle sound machine, and Tony and Jenny's 'Soapbox' bicycle sound machine, too. There was a brief pause at the ExxonMobil offices as Lucy Wills seized the meagaphone to give them a torrent of well deserved abuse, for their role in backing the Bush regime and waging a cynical war of disinformation on climate change. Next was the turn of the Australian embassy: Australia is the only major developed country not to have ratified Kyoto apart from the US. Here 'John Howard' put in a brief appearance along with an 'Ozzy Reaper of Doom', as the flag-holders clustered in front of the embassy doors for photos. In fact our demo made quite an impact on the Ozzy media: we evidently struck quite a sensitive nerve!
Soon we were off again, streaming down the Strand and into Trafalgar square, while dazed shoppers and tourists looked on: in fact many responded favourably to leaflets, while some actually joined the march. The colourful, noisy, long snake of protesters then wound it way into Piccadily Circus and on into Mayfair. with chanting of
"You can put your head in the sand,
Or join the march and make a stand" and the like.
Finally reaching the US embassy, there was an attempt to get all the flags together for photos and then the usual confusion as conflicting instructions were received about where to assemble for speeches. At last something was sorted out and Phil Thornhill, Campaign Coordinator, had the microphone off the Rinky Dink, to expound on the irresponsible iniquity of the US at this moment of unprecedented global crisis. Next came Caroline Lucas, Green Party MEP, speaking with her usual cogency, followed by Norman Baker MP, Lib-Dem shadow environment Minister, highlighting the danger of Tony Blair coming away with a useless 'paper' agreement from Bush on climate. Inbetween Phil Thornhill pointed to our next big opportunity to get a big mobilisation on climate (apart from the G8), namely the 'MOP' climate talks this November/December, which he asked everyone to get focussed on, well in advance. Then it was the turn of Tony Juniper, Director of Friends of the Earth, followed by Muzammal Hussain from the Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences. At that point the heavens tipped down and things rapidly broke up but we were lucky it had waited untill all essential business had been successfully concluded. Some of us continued the festivities in the Barley Mow pub, nearby, where we were entertained by the 'Eco-Worriers'.
Altogether it had been a terrific and spectacular demo, which succeeded in its aim of amplifying the significance of the coming into force of the Protocol and highlighting the irresponsible and immoral obduracy of the US in doing nothing to prevent a global catatstrophe that it has played (and continues to play) such a large role in creating. Many people felt they had at last had an opportunity to effectively express their concern over the the huge threat to our Future posed by the destabilisation of global climate - and while there is always some dissapointment that numbers on the march do not remotely match up to the seriousness of the issue, nevertheless we have laid a firm basis for bigger things to come! Roll on December!
Photo Andrew Fuller
Photo Andrew Fuller
Photo copyright Andrew Or
Photo copyright Andrew Or
Photo Andrew Fuller
In the run up to the Kyoto Climate March we will be holding a number of Public Meetings on the 'Climate Crisis' (scale & nature of the Climate threat, politics of Climate change, how to fight the Bush administration on climate, building a movement to press for urgent action) around the country. Details of the meetings (available so far) are as follows:
Birmingham - meeting rescheduled for Thurdsay, February 3rd, see below.
Cardiff Tuesday, 25th January, 7.00 pm, at the Catholic Chaplaincy, University of Cardiff, 62 Park place, Cardiff CF10 3AS. Speakers include Tim-Helweg Larsen, lately of the Global Commons Institute with a presentation as given to the United nations at the COP Climate conference in Buenos Aires in December; Neil Crumpton from Friends of the Earth Cymru; Helen-Mary Jones, Plaid Cymru Welsh Assembly spokesperson for the environment; and Phil Thornhill from Campaign against Climate Change. Contact 07811 835 345 or 07903316331.
Oxford Wednesday 26th January, 7.30pm. at The Vaults and Garden cafe at St Mary's Church, High Street, Oxford (entrance via Radcliffe Square).
Talks and climate change slideshow by Mark Lynas and George Marshall; with Jo Hamilton, 'No New Oil' campaigner, Oxford councillor Craig Simmons (Green Party) and Anna Hoyles from Globalise Resistance; chaired by Phil Thornhill from Campaign against Climate Change. Organic, fair-trade bar available for snacks and drinks including beer and wine.
Liverpool meeting resurrected - see below.
Brighton Thursday, January 27th 2005, 18.00-20.00 pm, at the Chichester Lecture Theatre, University of Sussex
A Meeting on 'Global Climate Change' with Mark Lynas, author of 'High Tide: News from a Warming World', Dr. Mayer Hillman, author of 'How We Can Save the Planet', Keith Taylor, Brighton & Hove Green Party Parliamentary candidate and Phil Thornhill from Campaign against Climate Change.
Manchester Thursday, January 27th, 7.00 pm at Cross Street Chapel, Cross Street, Manchester M2 1NL
Speakers include Chris Davies MEP (Lib Dem), Steven Durrant, Green Party ppc for Manchester Central, Dave Coleman from Manchester Friends of the Earth and Graham Thompson from Campaign against Climate Change.
Bristol Monday, January 31st, 7.30 pm at the Central Quaker Meeting House, River street, Bristol 2.
Speakers include Mike Birkin from South West Friends of the Earth, Charlie Bolton from Bristol Green Party, Ann Lemon from Globalise Resistance and Phil Thornhill from Campaign against Climate Change.
Norwich Tuesday 1st February, 7.30 pm at the Friends Meeting House, Upper Goat Lane (off St Giles Street- directly down the hill from the side of City Hall). Map here . Speakers include Tim-Helweg Larsen, lately of the Global Commons Institute with a presentation as given to the United nations at the COP Climate conference in Buenos Aires in December; Norwich councillor Adrian Ramsey (Green Party), Marie Bunting from Globalise Resistance and Phil Thornhill from Campaign against Climate Change.
Southampton Wednesday 2nd February. 7.00 pm at Southampton University on Highfield Campus in the Nuffield Building Lecture Theatre A. Speakers include Phil Thornhill from Campaign against Climate Change, Dave Hubble, local Greenpeace Co-ordinator and Anna Hoyles from Globalise Resistance; chaired by Southampton Friends of the Earth.
London Thursday, 3rd February, 7.00 pm at the Edward Lewis Lecture Theatre, University College London, on the corner of Howland Street and Cleveland street - under the Post Office Tower [PLEASE NOTE NOT GOWER STREET AS LISTED EARLIER & ON SOME LEAFLETS], London.
Speakers: George Monbiot , Jean Lambert MEP (Green party) and Tony Juniper, Director, Friends of the Earth, with Jonathan Neale from Globalise Resistance, Harfiyah Haleem from the Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences and Phil Thornhill from the Campaign against Climate Change.
Birmingham Thursday February 3rd, 7.30 pm at Carrs Lane Church Centre, Top Foyer. Contact Birmingham Friends of the Earth, 0121 632 6909.
Speakers: Clare Short MP , Fazlun Khalid, Director of IFEES ('Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences', Barney Smith from Birmingham Green Party, a speaker from Birmingham Friends of the Earth and Graham Thompson from Campaign against Climate Change; chaired by Chris Crean, co-ordinator West Midlands Friends of the Earth.
Liverpool Friday February 4th. 6.00 pm in the 'Heart and Soul' Restaurant/Bar, 62 Mount Pleasant, Liverpool 3. Contact Clara Paillard 07910 097 607, clarouf[at]yahoo.fr A speaker from Globalise Resistance, Phil Thornhill from Campaign against Climate Change and Frank Kennedy, North West Co-ordinator for Friends of the Earth .
We marked the re-election of George Bush with a "Global funeral March" to show where his policies are taking us! We lost no time in showing how we felt about his re-election. Just two days after the election on the evening of Thursday November 4th we held our "Rally for the Planet at the US Election", which took the form of a 'Global Funeral March'.
The CCC was in on the act at the Film Premiere of 'The Day After Tomorrow', In Leicester Square, on Wednesday, May 26th. 'The Day After Tomorrow' is the big new 'disaster-movie' blockbuster about climate change (to find out more about what is and isn't good science in the film, etc etc, check out www.thedayaftertomorrow.org). The film's got a lot of people talking about the potentialy disastrous impacts of climate change and we hit the premiere to add a bit of a political angle: to make sure the finger was firmly pointed at those doing the most, right now, to make sure nothing is done about the threat from climate change - namely George Bush and his fossil fuel corporate backers in the US. Appropriately costumed, we got ourselves onto Sky TV and Channel 4 News amongst other things - including the BBC website where this photo comes from:
"BUSH TAKING US THE WAY THE DINOSAURS WENT"
Photo: Hilary Gander
3 YEARS AFTER BUSH DUMPED KYOTO
AND OUR THIRD 'KYOTO MARCH' HITS THE STREETS !
It was another long march from ExxoMobil HQ, near Leatherhead (20 miles !), for the elite band of enthusiasts who went the whole way: our way of showing that its oil-money that determines Bush's policy on climate change - not the vital interests of everybody who lives on this planet. For those of us who spent the night before in 'Tanner's hatch' Youth Hostel, there was nature's alarm clock - a cockerel - to wake us up at 5.30 in the morning: something, however, he'd been doing at half hourly intervals all through the night !
Our theme was "Bush taking us the way the Dinosaurs went" and a colourful band - including a triceratops and a tyrannosaurus rex - set out from the Exxon HQ, early in the morning. More people joined at Epsom, Morden and the halfway stop at Wimbledon. Finally the long-marchers trooped triumphantly into the Imperial War Museum Park, in Lambeth, to the deafening applause of the assembled crowd. They - and the crowd - were then treated to a great speech from the Green MEP - Caroline Lucas - who caught the very special mood of the occasion magnificently.
Then the colourful throng - enlivened by the legendary 'Rinky Dink' bicycle sound system - hit the streets of central London, with assorted prehistoric reptiles and many other animals - chiefly human beings - wearing the sign "Endangered Species". At length the source of the danger was reached (or its symbol in the UK), namely the US embassy, where - after the customary confused hiatus - we were able to appreciate speeches from Michael Meacher MP (Environment Minister, 1997-2003) and Norman Baker, MP (Lib Dem shadow Environment spokesperson), who both lambasted very effectively the moron in the Whitehouse. At the same time a quartet of 'pall-bearers' from 'CodePink', carrying our 'late' planet, provided a great photo-op for the cameras. Finally Liana Stupples spoke for Friends of the Earth and then we wound down to the sound of the 'Eco-Worriers'.
'Codepink' with deceased planet. Photo Alex Eisenstein.
Photo John Robinson
Photo Hilary Gander
Here is the trusty band of all-the-way marchers - dinosaurs, (anti)Esso-Tigers, and all - at the start of the march at Exxon (Esso) HQ, near Leatherhead. Its 20 miles from here to the US embassy.
And the same band with a message for the people in the Esso building.
And this is the trusty band 10 or 12 miles further on (with others joined up along the way !) at the Esso petrol station, Colindale.
The famous 'Rinky Dink' bicycle powered sound machine - on the main march (from the Imperial War Museum to the US embassy) now.
Artistry with a message, on the march.
As Bush arrived in London on Tuesday evening (November 18th) climate protesters were already on the streets! The "Burning Planet" March was a fantastic success. The march set out from Lincoln's Inn Fields about 7 pm, headed by our globe-in-a-greenhouse, closely followed by our giant (10 foot diameter) globe displaying the message "Stop Bush, Stop Climate Change", and somewhere behind the "Rhythms of Resistance" samba band, the 'Rinky Dink' bicycle sound system, and the 'Soapbox trike' system, too.
Already by then we'd had loads of media coverage, just as we got ready at Lincoln's Inn...with live interviews on ITN and CNN, and much more as the place buzzed with journos and cameramen all over the place. The colourful throng featured a 'Lady Flaming Planet' (Lucy Wills), assorted tiger-costumed figures, 'glowing globe'lanterns and streaming 'globe' balloons; it progressed past the ExxonMobil offices on Aldwych, down the Strand, through Trafalagar Square, up Pall Mall as the world's leading 'eco-terrorist' flew overhead in a chopper headed for Buckingham Palace, on to Piccadilly circus and finally through Mayfair, getting to the US embassy around 8.30 pm.
At the embassy we had a really great line up of speakers. First we had a tremendous speach from Michael Meacher - Environment Minister until this summer, now speaking his mind about the environmental policies of GWB (to read his speech click here )- and then more good stuff from Tony Juniper, Director of Friends of the Earth; Stephen Tindale, Director of Greenpeace, Darren Johnson of the Green Party (GLA member) and finally George Marshall one of the moving spirits of the 'Rising Tide' climate campaign group. Altogether it was an effective statement from the British environmental movement as a whole against the climate and environmental policies of George W Bush... and this was the way it came over in the media: in the Guardian, Independent and Times; on Channel 4 News (interview by Andrew Lockley), BBC 2's newsnight, and many other British, American and other foreign news channels.
Altogether a fantastic evening's event! Well done and thanks to everyone who helped make it happen!
Michael Meacher speaking at the rally at Grosvenor Square.
'Ms Flaming Planet' and The statue-of-Taking-Liberties'
The CCC banner, held by Mark Lynas, revered author of 'News from a Warming World' (or something like that) with John Vidal, revered Environment Correspondent for the Guardian, to his left.
That's Phil Thornhill with the megaphone, with Corinne Sinclair from the Howard Dean Supporters' Group, on his right.
Auriel Glanville (Coordinator, Merton FOE) as the Statue of Taking Liberties, Rhona Hodges from Shepstow FOE, and an (anti-)Esso-Tiger
Our giant (10 foot diameter) globe with its message : which appeared on ABC TV in the US, that night. (Despite its habit of keeling over backwards all the time.)
The famous Rinky Dink bicycle-powered sound machine.
Esso (otherwise 'ExxonMobil') fund the ultra-right Republican think tanks which effectively determine Bush's 'do-nothing' policy on climate.
This banner provided by (and held by) Ealing Friends of the Earth.
Fancy lantern-thingies from Friends of the Earth
Our Globe-in-a-Greenhouse yet again, with 2 (anti-)Esso tigers.
The 'Rhytms of Resistance' Samba Band.
A Green Party banner. Miranda Dunn is the blurry person holding it, on the left.
Tony Lourenco with his 'soapbox' trike.
Funky lanterns again: a picture like this appeared in The Times, next day.
Think up your own caption for this one!
At a climate conference in Moscow Putin not only failed to set a timetable for ratification of Kyoto (as expected) but indicated a distinctly negative attitude towards it. This is desperately serious because Russia is needed for the Kyoto Climate treaty to become operative. The treaty needs countries that together can account for 55% of global emissions, to ratify before it can become operative. Without the US only Russia can make up the full 55%....no other country in addition to Russia is now needed, but no other country than Russia can make upthe full 55%. So their non-ratification threatens to derail the whole Kyoto process, the world's only attempt so far to initiate a desperately needed limit on global emissions of climate-destabilising 'greenhouse gases' (mainly CO2).
As our Press release (approved by Aubrey Meyer of the Global Commons Institute!) read : "In breaking his promise to ratify Kyoto Putin has demonstrated that narrow, old-fashioned, national self-interest... or the interests of the gangster-oligarchs who now run Russia.... dominate his policy. But he will find out that unless he and the world discover a new sense of global environmental responsibility and proceed apace with the Kyoto process then any advantage he seems to gain by not ratifying Kyoto will be rapidly swept aside when the full terrifying impacts of uncontrolled and accellerating climate change become apparent. The idea that Russia will benefit from higher temperatures is not only supremely selfish and cynical given that other countries, would inevitably suffer from drought and famine, as a result of a rise in global temperature, but also laughably naive, to think we could stop the process of climate change just where we want to and not see it spiral destructively out of control. Like George W Bush, Putin has a mind too small to deal with the biggest challenge the world faces today: the catastrophic destabalisation of global climate"
We made sure there was some kind of reaction to Putin's fateful decsion - a depressing and desperately serious development - and put our message across at the Russian embassy. We had our Globe-in-a-Greenhouse as usual, that very loud megaphone to blare out the message, and a "Putin", now arm-in-arm with fellow 'small-mind', "Bush" and a 'Grim Reaper', who they have now, as it were, jointly invited to have a spree on planet earth....also a 'fire-lady' to ram home the 'global-over-warming' point.
We carried a giant 10 metre long, "chinese-dragon" style, "missile", carrying the message "Climate Change is the Real Weapon of Mass Destruction" to the Labour Party Conference on the day of its opening. We also took our 'globe-in-a-greenhouse', placards with the message etc... from Meyrick Park down to the Conference centre. Getting the "missile" ready in time at the gathering point in Meyrick park was quite a struggle, but Phil and John Ackers had been working on it from early in the morning, and then Barry Botley and a team from Shepway FOE added some finishing touches to make the thing carriable.... thanks also to Enid and New Forest FOE and Roger Eede from the local Green party.
A weapon of mass destruction on Bournemouth beach
The missile progressed under police escort through Bournemouth centre to its 'target' at the Conference centre where Phil used a very effective megaphone to barrack the Labour Party and Tony Blair for spending more time looking for non-existent WMD in Iraq than they were doing anything (eg in particular exerting pressure on G W Bush) about the 'REAL' WMD, the real mega-threat to the future security of the planet, Climate Change. After this John Ackers had the bright idea of transferring the missile down to the beach where its presence was particularly striking and did attract at least one film-cameraman. Meanwhile Judith from Camden FOE, and Auriel from Merton FOE, and others, were busy handing out leaflets, something that was continued over the next few days by Phil (who stayed down in Bournemouth till Tuesday evening).
The leaflet included the full text of the Guardian article by Sir John Houghton (ex-chief of the Metereological office) which was the main inspiration for this action (in it he called Climate Change a 'WMD': to read his article click here).The strong simple message that the destabilisation of global climate threatens a global tragedy of almost unimaginable proportions and that much, much, more needs to be done about it, is one that must have resonance to any party that aspires to any kind of morality, conscience or sense of global responsibility...and is a message that needs delivering to people close to power, over and over again!
This is not just a chance hot spell...this is part of something bigger...and its going to get much, much hotter: thats what the Climate scientists are saying...
"Charlie the Climate-Change Camel" and a host of other oriental/desert characters were putting over the message that Climate Change is here for real , on Saturday, 9th August, around midday in central London. The Camel - and companions - roamed around Leicester Square, Charing Cross Road etc.., giving out leaflets and generally spreading the word (and, yes, inside the camel one was able to fully appreciate the high temperatures!!!!.....)
2003's Kyoto March was a "March to the End of the World". The message was clear: its global apocalypse from the USA!
|Here are our 'Grim Reapers' !|
|At Exxon HQ, Leatherhead, 7.00 am : the determined band at the start of their 20 mile march. The guy in white with the hood is a "Horseman of the Apocalypse' (OK he has'nt got a horse, but that would be cheating, would'nt it....)|
|And here's Darth Vader ! ....although the real Darth Vader generally goes disguised as a certain 'Mr. Lee Raymond', CEO of ExxonMobil (known as "the Darth Vader of Climate Change").|
|An 'angel' at the Esso HQ : heres Sophie our youngest campaigner. She did the whole march...but by Mum-power. Thats Mum, 'Ruth Jarman', with a 'Christian Ecology' banner.|
|Epsom 8.00 am and its the 'Esso-man from Hell'!|
|And the 'Esso-man from Hell' has got a friend!|
|Our apocalyptic band on the march: Richard on the trike that carried our luggage...and the head of a recently sacrificed victim (OK, wishful thinking...)|
|A bunch of us at the half-way resting point, Wimbledon, where we were met by the 'angelic' Auriel Glanville, from the local 'Friends of the Earth' group.|
|At the Esso Station, Colliers Wood : with 'Bush-and-Crossbones' flags (or is that the "Jolly Bodger"?)|
|On the march. Thats Julia and Sharon on the right. Fast-forward this for 20 miles!|
|At Clapham Common, time for a brief rest. By now the numbers are swelling!|
|At the Imperial War Museum Park: lots more people have gathered here, where the big march though Central London will begin.|
|That's the Evil Esso-man and a "Whore of Babylon" (Lucy Wills)|
|All behind the 'StopEsso' banner and the march is about to move off. Thats Will St Leger - from Irish StopEsso - on the right hand end (as we loook at it) of the banner. He was one of our speakers later on.|
|The march comes over Westminster Bridge, banners flying.|
|Still on Westminster Bridge.|
|Another banner and in front are (L to R) Debby Burchill (Greenwich FOE) and Steph and Jim Lodge (Southwark FOE)|
|Trumpet of doom; and a man wearing 'solar panels' to remind everyone there is a way of avoiding 'The End of the World' if only those in power (and especially the world's most powerful man, George Bush) would chose to pursue it!|
|This is what we think about Esso/ExxonMobil!|
|Green Party In evidence! Thats Miranda Dunn (Senior Campaigns-person-in-chief!)with the wooly hat and Tim Turner facing camera.|
|It's those artistic placards again!|
|The Samba Band!|
|The end of the march: some of the marchers who came all the way relaxing at last at "The End of the World Party" in Grosvenor Square. (This is Rhys Howell and friends from East Anglia Uni).|
|Jean Lambert, Green Party MEP (on right), our first speaker. Thats our 'party host' in the velvet suit and Andrew Simpson with the megaphone.|
|Roger Higman, senior Climate Person at Friends of the Earth, speaking.|
|It's "Bush the Grim Reaper" ! He's obviously exultant over something: maybe its the money he made from Insider Trading at Harken Energy.|
|Bush-the-Grim-Reaper (Richard Solly)and a "Whore of Babylon" (Lucy Wills) dancing (and throwing dollar notes around) to the tune of "Money, Money, Money"....it's all about the money he and his mates make from oil, at the expense of the rest of the world. That's not actually Batman looming over them.....it's Franklin Delano Roosevelt (in those days the President was allowed to have a brain)!|
|The Samba band keeps the party going into the dark hours.... Hurrah for the "Rhythms of Resistance "!|
|The happy couple with the vicar in front of the embassy. This photo (which was added later!) by Auriel Glanville.|
|All lined up for piccies at the embassy.|
|The happy couple at the start of the march|
|The lovely bride!|
|Aha! The bride unmasked. Richard Solly slips into the bridal gown, at the sttart of the march. Thats Lee Raymond=John Repsch doing up the zip.|
|It's Mr Corporate Greed and Mr. Loony Republican Hard Right (alias Gerry Wolfe and John Ackers). For those of you who don't know the Elephant is the symbol of the Republicans (for the Democrats its a mule). Don't ask me why.|
|Mr Corporate Greed holds sway over a 'greenhoused' world.|
|Mr. Corporate Greed laughing about how much money hes got. This photo by Peter Marshall: check out his other wedding march photos|
|It's the bride and bridesmaids: esso tigress (Lucy Wills) and Statue of Taking Liberties (Auriel Glanville). Mr. Loony, in the background there, is quite obviously pissed.|
|It's the samba band in full swing|
|The 'globe-in-a-greenhouse' progresses down The Strand|
|It's the samba band again... looks like it's got warmer!|
|It's the wedding kiss!|
|This is the 'Worst man', Myron Ebell (alias Angus Duchamp): a significant cog in the Exxon-funded lobbying machine.|
|Confetti flies in front of the US embassy.|
|The hymn: Richard's got the 'congregation' to burst into song.|
|Mr Loony unmasked. Doesn't he look better as pissed pachyderm, though?!|
|This is Sheila (Freeman)! She took the photos (except the ones Peter Marshall took - like this one!).|
The CCC was back at the Central London offices of ExxonMobil on the evening of Thursday 22nd of August, making sure once more that they are not left in peace as long as they continue to be Corporate Enemy Number 1 of the World's Climate. We had our shiny new Display Stand with enough materials for a seminar or two on Exxon's anti-environmental activities while Exxon employees and the passing public, alike, were leafleted with all the info on the latest Exxon exposure. This concerns their attempts to sabotage the Earth Summit in Johannesburg. A leaked letter from 31 'organisations and individuals' to GWB is clearly an attempt to do just that. It says
"We applaud your decision not to attend the summit in person" and
" we...strongly support your opposition to signing the new international environmental treaties or creating new international environmental organizations at the Johannesburg Summit.." and (get this!)
"the least important global environmental issue is potential global warming, and we hope that your negotiators can keep it off the table and out of the spotlight"
So who were these 31 organisations ? Well some of them have been heavily involved in anti-Kyoto activities before and we know that seven of them are funded by ExxonMobil ! So if you thought that last quote looks like its got Exxon's fingerprints all over it you'd be right ! Of course this is typical of the way ExxonMobil works ....paying other people to do their dirty work and then denying blandly that they are trying to influence the US government, or sabotage the world's efforts to safeguard the global environment, in any way at all.
"Ye Revoltinge Coloniales don't deserve independence while they're wrecking ye planete"
|The Redcoats at the US embassy ! Left to R : Captain (Sergeant-Major, General, Viscount-Lord-Field-Marshall-of-the-Fleet-and-His-Gracious-Majesty's-Privy-Purse, whatever)Phil Thornhill; Privates Gerry wolfe, George Marshall, John Ackers, Richard Solly. Now they might look like a well-ordered detachment in this photo but I can tell you they were an insubordinate bunch....that Private Ackers was the ringleader. If Captain Thornhill had had any sense he'd certainly have had him strung up, or given 200 lashes, or keelhauled or something nasty like that...|
|The Redcoats marching in....with Climate Message.(Actually George has got the placard the wrong way around..there's a more appropriate'period' message on the other side...ahhh well). Yes, its the Redcoats a la Abbey Road!|
|Gnarly-looking Redcoat (Gerry Wolff) with "Times Headline" that reads in full "Americane Rebels Finally Gone Berserke Destroyinge Ye Planete with ye out-of-controle carbon emissions". This fiersome fighter is obviously a veteran of Blenheim, Culloden Moor, Waterloo, Bunker Hill, Plassey, Quebec etc....etc..|
|The Redcoats open fire! This point of discharge was only reached after a flawlessly perfomed (=utterly shambolic !) drill : "Shoulder you firelocks!", "Prime your firelocks" etc... etc.... Good job that chap in the blue uniform with the strange looking musket didn't return fire!|
|Still the revoltinge coloniales won't surrender. There's only one thing for it! Bring in the artillery! Oh, and a camp-follower (Lucy Wills), too, by the looks of it.|
|Finally the Redcoats have got Uncle Sam cornered! Theyre bringing him to book for his noxious emissions and criminal disregard for international treaties! Plus they just like sticking bayonets into rebels, anyway!|
|Now what happens next in our little performance is that the US marines show up! OK, a US marine (Alex Hill) shows up: here he is, appropriately enough in front of a well known US general (no prize for the correct answer). The US marine, anyway, puts our redcoats to flight. He's got an automatic weapon hasn't he? So its obviously not fair - typical Yanks! It's beginning to look like Yorktown all over again! But all is not lost...........|
|George Washington (Ed Hall) now appears and commands the Marine to surrender. "If I'd known that the United American states would end up by destroying the planet with their out-of-control carbon emissions, I'd never have started my rebellion in the first place. Now I see the impudent folly of rebelling aginst king & country ...etc...etc..." And as you can see Uncle Sam gets taken in hand, after all. Our camp follower's got a WPC hat on there.|
|Here's that camp-follower again! Flanked by 'George Washington' on the right and Private Solly on the left.|
And here's some Redcoats relaxing at a nearby coffee-house after the battle. Naturally all the rebels had been strung up by now... what else could they expect for their crimes against the planet???
We march 20 miles from the ExxonMobil ('Esso') UK HQ in Leatherhead to the US embassy, central London, to mark the first anniversary of Bush dumping Kyoto. Larger numbers gather at the Mary Harmsworth Park (outside the Imperial War Museum, Lambeth) for the final 'leg' through central London to the US embassy.
|Early start, 6.30 am at the ExxonMobil HQ, just outside Leatherhead. Some of us had spent the night at the beautifully situated Tanners Hatch Youth Hostel but we didnt have much time to admire the surrounding woodlands as we hurried off to Exxon HQ for that 7.00 pm start to our 20 mile March.|
|Displaying the message outside Esso's UK HQ. But we spent so long doing these photo-calls, radio interview etc.. we started the march behind schedule: a fiersome pace was needed to make up time!|
|3 Uncle Sams ! We were dressed up as 'Uncle Sams' and 'Esso Tigers' to ram home the message that the US government - at least on Climate matters- was effectively run by ExxonMobil and the oil/fossil fuel lobby. So it was Uncle Sam hand-in-hand with the Esso Tiger ! These Uncle Sams are, L to R, Phil Thornhill, Bob Bromley, John Clarke.|
|And here's one of the Tigers (Adrian Barnett) ! Another was the bright orange one in the first picture (Gerry Wolfe). And on the tricycle - our invaluable back up vehicle, with added Tiggas - is "Buffalo Bill" who cycled the thing all the way down from town the night before. Anyone whos cycled 1 of these things will know why he felt just a little pooped by the time he got to Leatherhead.|
|Here's a contingent from the Surrey Green Party: watch out ExxonMobil we're gunning for you!|
|Here we are, on the road! Goddarned pedestrians with mobile phones don'tya hate 'em. Bet that Uncle Sam isn't looking where hes going! Looks like Debbie Birchall with the placard on the left.|
|Things got pretty strung out after a while. People will dawdle so ! Come on at the back ! No shilly-shallying ! Thats Tony Cooper - of the Surrey Greens and 'Global Commons Institute' - with the orange flag/banner.|
|Its a pit-stop - OK, loo-stop - at Ewell village. What a cheerful bunch ! That bright orange tiger with the umbrella is Gerry Wolfe; seated left of Uncle Sam on his left is Lewis Read, while standing behind is John Ackers.|
|There was a half-way stop at Wimbledon : with some haranging of passers by with the megaphone, some photo-calls like this one and some relaxing in a Wimbledon cafe. This was also a place for more people to join us as they had been doing from Epsom onwards. Then we all hit the road again.....|
|Finally around 4.00pm we made it to the Mary Harmsworth Park (outside the Imperial War Museum, Lambeth) where a cheering crowd awaited! Hurrah! Plus there was our globe-in-a-greenhouse, campaign banner, balloons, placards, bed-on-wheels (!!) etc....all set up by Vince Stops, Mike Roberts, members of Southwark FOE and others...... This was where the full-scale march would start from.|
|Heres one tired Uncle Sam taking a well-earned rest....was'nt that nice of someone to supply him with a bed?|
|OK, this is what the bed was really for ! We'd decided to show GWB "in bed with" the Esso Tiger(ess).....demonstrating the fact that the Bush administration effectively took its orders from ExxonMobil and the fossil fuel lobby for its Kyoto/climate policy. So heres Dubya (RichardSolly) 'in bed with' the Esso Tigress (Lucy Wills).|
|And here we are dragging the bed all the way through the streets of London, from Lambeth to the US embassy.....thats Lewis Read (with placard) out in front, as he was for a lot of the way on the 20 miles from the Exxon HQ. Meanwhile dragging the bed is Shaun Nixon of WYOCC..out for the day from Bristol.|
|Here we are marching through Westminster. Theres that big yellow banner again.....thanks to Ealing Friends of the Earth for supplying that !|
|And here's the yellow banner 'in situ', having reached the US embassy. We've all been coralled behind those barriers to keep us in control(!)|
|And heres that other banner out for display again!|
|It's Bush and the Esso Tigress again!|
|Time for speeches. This is Kate Hampton, Friends of the Earth International Climate Person who rang up Exxon HQ in the US so we could all boo down her phone at them !|
|Darren Johnson Green Party GLA member, Murad Qureshi, Westminster councillor and representative of the Bangladeshi community, and Cindy Baxter from 'StopEsso', all spoke, too.|
|By the end it was getting rather dark! It had been a long day....especially for those of us who'd marched all the way from Leatherhead!|
We want to make the point that US obstructionism on Kyoto threatens far more lives than terrorism, and that if the US wants the rest of the world to cooperate in its 'war on terror' it should cooperate with the rest of the world in "the war on" world-threatening climate change. We march from the Afghan embassy, leaving a letter there and at the Bangladeshi and Ethiopiam embassies nearby (all 3 represent countries stricken by weather-disasters - floods, droughts, cyclones - likely to be related to climate change). We finish at the US embassy witha speech by Jenny Jones (Green Party GLA member)
On Saturday 7th we protested ouside the US embassy against US obstructionism at the Earth Summit. This demo was got together at very short notice and so turn out was not high. Nevertheless we got 4 Radio interviews and also appeared on London Weekend TV luchtime news. So we did manage to 'catch the moment' and it was well worth it - thanks to everyone who turned out for this and made this possible!
At the summit the US went out of its way to prove to any doubters that its Environmental Public Enemy Number 1. It did its utmost to obstruct every positive measure and succeeded in blocking targets for Renewable Energy (as championed especially by the Latin American countries).
For all its shortcomings the summit represents something desperately needed, namely effective international cooperative action to halt the world's slide towards economic polarisation and environmental self-destruction: the US has trampled on the fragile hope that this summit offered that something might at last be done. And its clearer than ever that it is short term economic interests, above all those of the fossil fuel interests to which the Bush regime remains so closely tied, that are driving US policy. For that reason above all future generations will never forgive it. In particular ExxonMobil, through front organisations, has been a major driving force behind the sabotage of progress on renewable energy.
On the Saturday after the Bonn Climate Talks (at which the whole world except the US agreed on the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol) we march from Lincoln Inn's Fields via the central London offices of Exxon Mobil, Aldwych, through central London to the US embassy.
When Bush visits the UK we are ready to greet him! Here we are with our giant 'Bush Wanted' poster (which couldn't fail to make it onto TV) in Trafagar Square. The Bush motorcade swept past but we followed him in a march down The Mall to Buckingham Palace - with another demo at the US embassy that evening.
We demonstrate against climate-unfriendly aspects of both major parties' manifestos but our gatecrashing of a press-call at Tory Party HQ, Smith Square, is particularly satisfying. While Tory worthies are trying to give interviews our 'Lady Planet-in-distress' is shrieking at our 'William Desperate-for-a-vote Hague' who is running her over in his 'Fuel-Tax-Cut Bandwagon' (tricycle). We make it into Channel 4 news.
The Kyoto Rally was the biggest demo in Britain directly responding to the dumping of the Kyoto treaty by American President, George. W. Bush, in Spring 2001.
|Getting ready in the morning: What's all this junk in this van? Its far too early in the morning. I'm not really doing this am I? This is not real surely? And is anybody going to turn up anyway?|
|Blimey, this thing really does fit together! Mike Roberts and Vince Stops assemble our (globe-in-a) greenhouse - as flawlessly constructed by Mike, carpenter extraordinaire. The "Globe-in-a-Greenhouse" is to be our giant symbol of the global warming crisis we all face. But Mike hadnt' got round to painting it yet.|
|We set up outside the park : the embassy police say why not set up in the park ? We move into the Park. The Park Police say dont set up in the park. We move out of the Park....the embassy police say...meanwhile the Met police say...etc....etc...|
|Hurrah! The crowds have arrived. Though all herded into a narrow space behind barriers.
Whats's Uncle Sam saying into that microphone?
|Here's that "Globe-in-a-Greenhouse" complete, that is actually with the inflated globe inside it. Meanwhile, in front of it, L to R : Uncle Sam as Grim Reaper (Andrew Lockley), George "Dubya" (Steve Hounsham), Statue of Liberty as global polluter (Auriel Glanville), Uncle Sam (Phil Thornhill).|
|Looks like Southwark Friends of the Earth, here - amongst others. Yes, there were Friends of the Earth people, SWP people, Globalise people, GreenParty people, Greenpeace People, People and Planet people, Save Our World people - and even people people!|
|And here is a Bangladeshi contingent! Bangladesh is one of the countries most threatened by climate change: the low lying cyclone-vunerable Ganges delta could be devestated like never before with terrible consequences for millions. Murad Qureshi (see photo below), spoke on behalf of the Bangladeshi community.|
Nigel Griffiths, MP (Labour, Edinburgh South) speaking at the Kyoto Rally and being filmed by a CBS cameraman. Footage from the rally appeared on American TV (CBS news) about one month later, thereby ensuring that we reached our ideal audience and got the message to those who most need to hear it.
|Here he is in close-up: Nigel Griffiths MP, Labour, Edinburgh South. Our demo got a mention in Parliament, the week before!|
|Charles Secrett, top man in Friends of the Earth.|
|Darren Johnson, Green Party GLA (Greater London Authority) member. "Not only has Bush flagrantly breached international treaties.....he doesnt even have a majority mandate at home ..etc...etc..."|
|Murad Qureshi, Westminster councillor and representative of the Bangladeshi community : see photo of Bangladeshis at the rally, above.|
HANDS AROUND THE EMBASSY
|After the speeches we were able to swarm out from behind the barriers and establish a long cordon, holding hands all around the sizable embassy building.|
|Next everyone formed up and the march started off. Most people had already dissapeared from in front of the embassy when a sound was heard from the other side of the square. Is it... yes, it is! It's the samba band! Stop for the samba band! The band is hurried through to the front of the march and leads us all triumphantly through the streets.|
AT THE MALDIVES ISLANDS HIGH COMMISSION
|We finished up at the Maldives Islands High Commission, Marylebone. This was to symbolise the victims of US climate policy: the low lying Maldives islands are threatened with complete submergence from the sea level rise that could be caused by climate change.|
|Roger Higman, chief climate-person at Friends of the Earth, gives a final talk on how developing countries get a bad deal at climate negotiations. That's Vincent Stops, who had a major role in organising the whole thing, with the megaphone.|
IT'S ALL OVER
|Here's some of the demonstrators relaxing at a cafe after the event. What's that Uncle Sam doing there ? You'd have thought he'd have been lynched by now.|
This was our immediate reaction to Bush's "ratting out" on the Kyoto Protocol....just a few days after the news. A month later we were back in force for our "Kyoto Rally".
In front of the US embassy (in the days you could get that close!)
The first sign that Bush was going to take a disastrous line on global climate and Kyoto came when he reversed a pre-election commitment to cap CO2 emissions from US power stations. According to Bush CO2 was "not a pollutant". We reacted to the news by expanding our weekly Climate Vigil so that a bunch of us turned up on a very rainy Saturday afternoon, armed with appropriate placards etc...
Left to Right : George W Bush, George W Bush, Vincent stops, George W Bush, George W Bush, Uncle Sam (Phil Thornhill), George W Bush, Lisa Rimmer!
Climate protestors in the shadow of past Presidents..Eisenhower, in the foreground; Franklin D Rooseveldt in the background (statue in the park)
The President (Noel Cooper, Hackney Friends of the Earth) takes an oath to 'preserve and protect' the planet (our wishful thinking !). Thats Mark Douglas (Hackney Green Party) helping Uncle Sam (Phil Thornhill) with the megaphone. This demo was mainly due to a collaboration between Hackney Friends of the Earth and London Green Party. This sort of collaborative effort on climate change as a number one global threat...was the genesis of the CCC.
Uncle Sam plays football (or rugby football) with the world. Looks like he's trying to convert it over the eagle at the top of the embassy! Either that or kick it straight into the face of George Lee (standing, arms crossed).
Saturday 22nd October
At DECC – Department of Energy & Climate Change
Protesters gathered outside the Department of Energy and Climate Change offices calling for the end of subsidies for bioenergy, in a demonstration organised by Biofuelwatch with the support of Campaign against Climate Change.
As a public consultation on the financing of renewable electricity launched last week, campaigners warn that government proposals to prioritise bioenergy over wind and solar will speed up global warming and cause human suffering across the globe. Campaigners travelled from as far as the Isle of Wight, Scotland, Bristol, Port Talbot in Wales, and Manchester to unite in a common call.
Bioenergy currently accounts for 82.5% of the UK’s renewable energy generation. But Biofuelwatch and Campaign against Climate Change warn that bioenergy power generation, which involves burning fuels such as wood pellet from Brazil and palm oil from Malaysia, speeds up deforestation, climate change and land-grabbing in the global South. Last month, the European Environment Agency cautioned that Governments across Europe are ignoring the true carbon costs of bioenergy, and that it can release more carbon emissions than traditional fossil fuels.
However, the new government proposals will allow for a boom in biomass and energy crop imports, as biomass and bioliquids remain eligible for Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs). In addition, the proposals include new increased support for the enhanced cofiring of biomass and biomass conversion. Enhanced cofiring refers to stations which combust biomass and coal, but which will switch to full biomass in the future.
Biofuelwatch has estimated that the existing subsidies for bioenergy have already caused a surge of at least 42 new planning applications for bioenergy power stations across the UK, which, if built, will cost the public £3 billion in subsidies each year.
Earlier this year, the UN identified the UK as the third largest land grabbing country after China and Saudi Arabia with over a million hectares acquired for biofuel production, mostly in Africa. This area represents about 10% of UK agricultural land.
Emilia Hanna, Biofuelwatch campaigner, said, 'Colonialism continues because of our consumption addiction in the West, in Europe, in the UK, and in the areas where people have travveled from. The government's latest proposal to continue the subsidies for biomass and bioliquids is what is fuelling our addiction. Companies are promised profit, so thay are going for biomass and bioliquids on a massive scale, with 60 million tonnes of wood and 400000 tonnes of bioliquid demanded per year. This will come mainly from overseas leading to more land grabbing and more forest destruction. We are here to show that we are united in our call of NO to subsidies for biofuels and biomass, and YES to reducing our consumption in the West.'
Biomass use is also incredibly polluting and can release more emissions than ordinary fossil fuels, threatening people's right to live in a healthy environment. Jayne Dillon, campaigning against a biomass incinerator in Trafford, near Manchester, said, 'We are facing a proposed 25 year sentence of biomass incineration in our suburban, family-based community in Manchester. We already tolerate elevated levels of air pollution and we are determined that this dirty technology which releases a wide range of harmful emissions, including arsenic, will not be built. Too much evidence exists which associates these air pollutants with serious illnesses and deaths and this cannot not be ignored. We don’t want this incinerator to operate and generate profit at the expense of our health, as the burden of decisions made now will be carried for decades.'
Learn more about biofuels, come and discuss how to stop this destructive bandwagon, at the Biofuels workshop at the Climate Justice Conference on Saturday the 12th November.
Biofuelwatch in association with CCC organised a public meeting entitled “The real cost of subsidies for biofuel and biomass electricity” . The venue was filled to capacity as for three hours the hall heard from speakers including Elias Mtinda (Food Rights Coordinator for ActionAid Tanzania), Kenneth Richer (Friends of the Earth), Emilia Hanna (Biofuelwatch), Sarah Clayton (AirportWatch) talk about the insanity of subsidising biomass and biofuel instead of real renewables like wind and solar. Presentations from the event can be downloaded here. Videos of some of the speeches are below:
Report From Camp Frack
Camp Frack was a huge success! It attracted activists from all around the country as well as local residents who were a big part of the camp's success. There was lots of media coverage. Have a look at the video reports below on Camp Frack, as well as footage from the demo.
The Saturday was spent with a host of lively workshops and also planning sessions to build the campaign. For some there was also time to take the message into Preston, unfurling our monster anti-fracking banner outside the County Council building before taking the message to shoppers in the centre (see photos clickable above). On Sunday the weather cheered up for our march out to the drilling rig (as close as we were allowed) - which was led by REAF (see below) members and was fantastic fun for all. The atmosphere was full of positivity and infectious good cheer, building a real sense of solidarity between all the different groups involved (see photos and video below)
Involved in the camp, as well as the Campaign against Climate Change was local group 'Ribble Estuary against Fracking' (REAF) , national anti-fracking group 'Frack Off', various Climate Camp groups (eg Liverpool and Yorkshire) as well as members from Friends of the Earth groups and the Cooperative Society - as well as individuals from all over!
News coverage of the camp
LATEST NEWS: CAMP FRACK FOLLOW UP !
Following Camp Frack, on Wednesday 21st September, Cuadrilla Resources held a Press Conference at the Imperial hotel, Blackpool, announcing it had discovered huge amounts of gas (200 trillion cubic feet), was planning to drill at least 400 wells in Lancashire to extract it, and promising thousands of jobs would be created as a result (there may have been strong financial reasons why Cuadrilla needed to publish good results now: see here and doubts have now been cast on their claims - see here) . This was a major media offensive from Cuadrilla but having heard the news we srambled to get there and were able to organise a small but noisy protest outside the meeting (see posed photo at start of demo below). We were able to give the other side of the argument highlighting not only the destructive environmental impacts of fracking but also the need for investment in the renewable energy industry, creating jobs in that sector rather than in another fossil fuel - which will increase the levels of carbon dioxide emissions and lead us further down the path to climate catastrophe.
Public Meeting, Tuesday 19th July
in the Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London.
Listen to the sound recording of this meeting:
Supported by Artists Project Earth
Sign the APE anti-fracking petition here.
Professor Kevin Anderson is Director of the Tyndall° Centre for Climate Change Research which has recently produced a report “Shale gas: a provisional assessment of climate change and environmental impacts” which recommends a moratorium on drilling shale gas in the UK. Kevin Anderson has been outspoken on the need for scientists not to pull any punches in communicating the gravity of the climate crisis to policy makers.
Caroline Lucas is the UK’s first Green MP (Brighton Pavilion) and leader of the Green Party of England and Wales. She has supported the call for a moratorium on shale gas and condemned a report from the Energy and Climate Change Committee which concluded there was no need for a moratorium.
Michael Meacher, Labour MP for Oldham West and Royton, was Minister of State for the Environment May 1997 to June 2003. He has long represented the environmental conscience of the Labour Party and has outlined in his blog the case against shale gas.
Phil Mitchell is chair of the Blackpool Greens and has headed the local campaign against the exploratory drilling for shale gas, that has already started in the area. Cuadrilla Resources is already at work with two drilling rigs in the area – the first in the UK.
“Hydraulic fracturing” or “fracking” for shale gas is taking off in the UK. This newly developed technology allows the exploitation of previously untappable reserves of natural gas. Its already big in the US but it has caused a storm of protest there, which has even inspired an Oscar-nominated film.
But more worrying still, will we see a diversion of resources and investment away from renewable energy to the development of another source of fossil fuel? Will we be investing in infrastructure that will lock us into a fossil fuel economy for yet longer into the future? On a world wide scale are we going to see the development of more and more unconventional fossil fuels increasing the total amount of carbon we can spew into the atmosphere and delaying until far too late the clean break we need to make away from the fossil fuel economy and into the green renewably-powered economy? Is shale gas, in other words, just another part of our recipe for global climate suicide?
Saturday July 16th
See the Zero Carbon Britain Day page here for a list of actions and events around the country. We will post news of the events when we get it...
On a day on which the weather made immersion in water seem anyway highly likely... many actions around the country used the theme of “Zero Carbon Britain before we drown” or similar, involving semi-submergence in water near a local landmark.
You can order a free 8-page ZCB 2030 pamphlet to find out about and promote the Zero Carbon Britain 2030 Report produced by the Centre for Alternative Technology, (CAT) which outlines a practical, well researched plan for reaching a zero carbon economy by 2030. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with 'Zero Carbon Britain Day' in the subject line).
Send us news of any action or event you took part in at email@example.com!
Climate activists braved an early start at 8.00am on the morning of Monday 16th May to demonstrate outside the Lib Dem HQ, at 4 Cowley Street, Westminster - as part of the battle to make sure the government does not cave in to short term economic interests and weaken climate targets.
The demonstration took place after the Observer had reported that the combined pressure of the Green Movement had borne fruit and the Government had now accepted the recommendations made by the independent Committee on Climate Change, for relatively ambitious cuts in emissions up to 2030..However more recent news suggests the picture is much more complicated as to precisely how much of the recommendations the government is agreeing to. See here and here. A public statement is expected on Tuesday.
This is how the story unfolded from early last week:
On Monday May 9th The Guardian broke the story that the chief executive of the Committee on Climate Change warned that a key cabinet decision on whether or not to stick to the UK's climate change targets was imminent, describing it as "the key test of the government's green credentials".
Later that day, Friends of the Earth called for Chris Huhne, the minister for Energy and Climate Change to resign if his fellow ministers renege on targets. Soon, George Monbiot had penned an article about it and the Guardian printed a follow-up story, claiming that Vince Cable had clashed with Huhne, arguing that an aggressive level of cuts would be "would be detrimental to UK", arguing instead for a weaker target. This led to public outcry, with the heads of 15 environmental NGOs writing an open letter to the Prime Minister, as well as the leader of the opposition and former Energy and Climate Change minister Ed Miliband writing his own letter.
The letter handed in by activists took the form of a reminder to the Lib Dems and to the government, that despite the apparent victory for the greener forces within the government we are still courting climate disaster until we see a real quantum leap in the scale of our response to the climate crisis.
This is because – in particular:
1) The Committee on Climate Change recommends an increase in the use of biofuels which will do more harm than good.
2) The Committee’s recommendations do not take into account the effective outsourcing of a large proportion of UK emissions to countries like China to feed our increased demand for consumer goods.
3) In the light of the latest science, the targets enshrined in the Climate Act are inadequate. This is what those at the sharp end of scientific research into climate change are saying, like Kevin Anderson of the Tyndall Centre who says we need something more like 10% cuts a year, or James Hansen who heads the climate research effort at NASA who says that two degrees of warming is too dangerous.
See the full letter here.
|FT.com - Deal expected to reduce carbon emissions.pdf||48.31 KB|
The question being debated was "Nuclear Power has no place in the fight against Climate Change: it is simply a diversion which leads us away from the real answer, renewable energy" as the SOAS lecture room heard from both sides of the argument. Stephen Tindale (ex Executive Director of Greenpeace but a recent convert to the case for nuclear) and Darren Johnson, Green Party chair of the London Assembly Environment Committee and career-long anti-nuclear campaigner both made convincing cases for expanding and curtailing nuclear power respectively.
First off, Stephen Tindale (pictured above left) described how he supports nuclear as a "bridging technology" - between the fossil fuel era and the ultimate goal of 100% renewable energy, and that nuclear is preferable to coal, which is what he predicts will replace nuclear power stations if they are shut as a result of the Fukushima disaster.
Next, Darren Johnson told the audience how opposition to nuclear power was at the core of his motivation on environmental issues, and that nuclear power was simply too dangerous and expensive to be practical in the fight against climate change, saying that renewables are the only option.
The evening was rounded off with questions from the floor covering topics from Combined Heat and Power to renewable gas and climate jobs. The debate was well attended and enjoyed by the audience with many more in the audience at the end of the evening than when the debate began.
Urgent Demonstration outside the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills
Thursday, 21st April from 5.00 pm to 6.30 pm
The government is defining the Climate Act, crucial legislation against the greatest threat facing humanity, as “red tape”.
Not only that, but a host of other environmental legislation like the Wildlife and Countryside Act are potentially being thrown on the deregulation bonfire.
This looks like the thin end of the wedge of a trend towards deregulation that in the US, for instance, is threatening to roll back decades of environmental progress – as well as preventing any kind of meaningful action to prevent catastrophic climate change.
The Campaign against Climate Change was outside the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills a few days after the "red tape challenge" launch, with the message that calling action on climate "red tape" is not acceptable...
A great fundraiser ceilidh was held - courtesy of Green Kite Midnight (known to many as 'the Climate Camp house band') at The Others, Stoke Newington, London on Saturday 16th April.
Everybody had a load of fun, danced like crazy, and more than £300 was raised!
Confronting the Climate Emergency in an era of "austerity"
1.00 pm - 6.00 pm, Birkbeck University, London
Discussion group at the AGM
The CCC AGM was lively, positive and sets us up for the coming year in a very constructive way. Sub-groups conentrating on various areas of campaigning are underway - more on this site about that shortly.
Nurturing the light of a positive solution while the world goes mad…
Monday 28th November
Raising the banner outside the London offices of Koch International.
Monday 28th was the opening day of the Durban Climate talks. Who's really responsible for blocking progress on a workable treaty for global action on climate ? More than anyone else it's the American hard right and their big-money backers! The Koch brothers, owners of the second biggest privately owned industrial conglomerate in the US, have been identified as the biggest funders of climate disinformation in the US (overtaking ExxonMobil) and the main corporate instigators of the Tea Party movement. For more about the Koch Brothers see here.
On Monday 28th activists raised the giant "Koch Brothers: Dirty Money" banner (see above) outside St Pauls at the "Occupy" camp and gave a shout out over the pa system about the Koch Brothers and the role their 'dirty money' plays bankrolling the Tea Party and funding climate disinformation, before a posse headed out to the offices of Koch Industries International on Fenchurch street, about 20 minutes walk away. Here more demonstrators joined to raise the giant banner again (see photo above) and give out countless fliers to the passing public, whilst addressing them over the megaphone with a constant stream of information about the iniquities of the Koch Brothers.
Photo credit: Adele Nistora
The streets of London rang to the sound of chants for "Climate Justice" on the Global Day of Action for the climate on Saturday 3rd December. Marchers had gathered at the North end of Blackfriars Bridge where they were joined by a group from Christian Ecology Link coming from a Prayer meeting at St Mary le Bowe, a group of Buddhists coming from a meditation session at the tate Modern - and a substantial contingent coming via a 'Walk of Shame' through the City from a Climate 'teach in' at the Occupy camp at St Paul's. Placards demanding 'climate Justice' and dispaying '7%' as a way of expressing the inequity of business as usal on climate change (see below) peppered the crowd as it moved slowly down embankment before turning right down Horseguards Avenue into Whitehall.
The shouts for climate justice grew louder as the marchers passed Downing Street and approached Parliament before gathering for a rally at 'Old Castle Yard' opposite Parliament. Here the crowd split into two groups in a ratio of one to seven (or 7% to 50%). Phil Thornhill, campaign coordinator, then addressed the crowd on the theme of 'climate justice' stating that we were on track for a catastrophe from which only the richest half a billion (from a population that should hit 9 billion in 2050) might survive by the end of the century. There then followed a series of brief contributions giving an overview of climate campaigning in the UK. Peter Coville talked about the campaign against the Koch brothers - the biggest funders of climate denial and bankrollers of the Tea party in the US - as well as describing the work of the environmental group at the Occupy LSX camp. Steve Pulham reported on the campaign against the super-carbon-intensive Canadian Tar Sands, including a mention of the 1200 who got arrested in the US to stop the Keystone XL pipeline. Peter Dean gave a passionate and informative speech against 'agrofuels' and John Stewart brought us up to date on the aviation campaign. Suzanne Jeffrey talked about fighting both the climate crisis and the economic crisis through a programme for a Million Climate Jobs and finally Fiona Brookes from the campaign office expounded on the goal of a Zero Carbon Britain by 2030.
Photo Credit: Adele Nistora
Throughout the crowd was engaged with chants and call and response including "amandla aweithu" ("power to the people") in solidarity with those marching at the UN talks in Durban, South Africa, "Cuadrilla, Mark Miller, toxic water spiller" against the company engaged in 'fracking' operations in Lancashire and a final shout for 'Climate Justice' before the rally broke up and demonstrators headed off for soup provided by the Brixton Tea party or gazed at a giant 8x4 metre banner - lambasting the Koch brothers and their 'dirty money' - that stewards were struggling to hold up against the wind.
On the previous night:
Symbolic 'Climate Refugee Camp' and Vigil, night of Friday 2nd-Saturday 3rd
See more at http://climaterefugee.wordpress.com/
The theme of the demo : 7%
National Climate March
With the Climate Act under threat from a ‘dash for gas’ and planned introduction of wide-scale fracking in the UK, we felt it was time to Get Fracktious on 1 December. With our 7.2m fracking rig, we took a clear message to Parliament - "No Fracking in the UK", a message backed up by other actions around the country, and one that was picked up by the BBC amongst others.
Earlier in the day, we built a "Grosvenor Square Keystone pipeline" between the US and Canadian embassies, in solidarity with activists in North America resisting the export of polluting tar sand oil via the real Keystone XL.
Thanks to everyone who worked hard on the day and in the hectic weeks beforehand!
Highlighting the crisis of the melting Arctic
This summer, we faced the clearest sign so far that we have changed the physical make-up of our planet. Arctic sea ice extent crashed through the previous minimum recorded – and then kept melting rapidly. On 26 August, the day after we knew that the record had been broken, CCC activists took an iceberg to Downing Street: an "Arctic Wake up Call".
By September 19 the ice had reached its minimum for the year – covering just half the area that would be a normal minimum during 1979-2000. Here in the UK, with clashes over energy policy imminent, we decided to remind the Lib Dems of what was at stake by taking another iceberg to their conference. Many thanks to all who donated to enable us to do that.
We also held a packed meeting on the science of the melting Arctic and what it means for our planet, with guest speakers Professor Peter Wadhams and John Vidal.
Rio +20 Alternative Conference
The Alternative Conference for the Rio Summit (16-17 June) was a great success - with hundreds of people attending - on both days. We were lucky to have a broad range of fantastic speakers to share a multiplicity of fascinating insights into the global environmental crisis.
Climate Jobs Caravan
The Climate Jobs Caravan was organised by the Campaign against Climate Change Trade Union Group. Two ‘caravans’ toured the UK from 12-25 May 2012, raising awareness and linking the climate crisis to the misery of growing unemployment. Read more about all the events round the country at http://www.campaigncc.org/climatejobscaravan
Also in 2012
· Zero Carbon Britain Day, including the London Zero Carbon Games, on 21 July
· An open letter to the BBC Director General for an end to ‘false balance’ in climate science coverage on the BBC, with over 1000 signatures
· Post-US Election demonstration, calling on Obama to end his ‘Climate Silence’
· A rapid reaction demonstration outside the Treasury in response to leaked information about Osborne’s plans to sabotage the Climate Act
· Through the Trade Union Group, supporting the Climate Bloc at the TUC March for the Alternative
Will you stand with us in 2013?
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How to donate
The Campaign against Climate Change depends on the generosity of its supporters. In particular, those who donate by regular standing order, no matter how small, give the campaign financial security to plan for the future.
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Thanks to everyone who made this such a great success!
The Alternative Conference for the Rio Summit (16th-17th June) was a great success - with hundreds of people attending - on both days. We were lucky to have a broad range of fantastic speakers to share a multiplicity of fascinating insights into the environmental crisis that will be the focus of attention for world governments in Rio de Janeiro this week (20th-22nd).
The Conference was Organised by the Campaign against Climate Change with the School for Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) Department for Development Studies.
Conference-goers were able relax and network in the Students Union bar of the the Institute of Education (IOE) while workshops and panel-sessions took place there, at SOAS and on the Sunday at nearby Birbeck college - with the main plenary taking place at University College London (UCL). Session recordings now available.
There was a broad range of talent amongst the 60+ speakers.
Click here to watch to a recording of the Conference Main Plenary featuring John Lanchberry (RSPB), Phil Thornhill (CCC), Deborah Doane (WDM), Jean Lambert (Green MEP), Steven Tindale (ex-director Greenpeace UK), George Barda (Occupy London), John McDonnell (Labour MP) and Danny Chivers.
Click here to listen to a recording of the session 'Rio+20, a landmark in the fight against eco-crisis or just a lot of hot air?', featuring speakers Neva Frecheville (WWF), Bart Dhondt (Belgium Young Greens) and Harold Heubaum (SOAS).
Click here to listen to a recording of the session 'The Desertec concept: clean power from deserts', featuring Hywel Roberts (Desertec-UK).
Click here to listen to a recording of the session 'Climate Emergency: where the science is now', featuring David Wasdell (Meridian Project), and click here for the recording featuring Peter Challenor (University of Southampton).
Click here to watch a recording of the session 'Gender and Climate Change', featuring Natalie Bennett (Green Party).
Click here to listen to a recording of the session 'Bio-energy: The next Great Mistake in the fight against Climate Change', featuring Clare Coffey (Action Aid).
Click here to listen to a recording of the session 'Economy: Green growth alone is not enough, we need de-growth', featuring Juliet Michaelson (New Economics Insitute) and Mayer Hillman.
Click here to listen to a recording of the session 'Oceans', featuring Peter Challenor (University of Southampton) & Elisabeth Whitebread (Green Party).
Click here to listen to a recording of the session 'Tar Sands: Can we shut down the World's most Destrutive Industry and avoid Climate Chaos?', featuring Emily Coats (UK Tar Sands Network).
You can also find the sound recordings on our youtube channel.
More links to the sound and video recordings of sessions that we have will be posted shortly.
Rio to Rio: 20 wasted years?
Between 1992 and 2012:
The global surface temperature has risen by 0.38C.
The Arctic sea ice has decreased by 2.94 million square kilometres.
The CO2 in the atmosphere has risen by 35.19 PPM.
30 661 900 hectares of Brazilian forest have been lost.
More than 431,215.08 million tonnes of CO2 have been emitted.
The amount of CO2 emitted per year has risen from 21,421.45 to 30,398.42 million tonnes.
9.00 - 10.00 Registration, Coffee
10.00 Conference opens: intro at Institute of Education Students' Union
10.30 Session 1
12.00 Plenary in UCL
2.45 Session 2
4.15 Session 3
5.30 End of sessions
Ongoing discussions, drinks, music in IOE SU bar.
11.00-12.00 Registration, coffee, stalls
12.30 Session 4
2.30 Session 5
4.00 Session 6
5.30 People's Assembly
Ongoing discussions, drinks, music in IOE bar.
SESSION 1: 10.30-11.45
Food Security: How can we stop a Tragedy Unfolding?
Putting an End to Fossil Fuel Subsidies
Emma Biermann (350.org), Danny Chivers
Geo-Engineering – an Insurance Policy for Earth
Andrew Lockley, Tim Kruger (Oxford Geoengineering Programl)
Climate Change, Technology and the Luddites’ 200th Anniversary
Dave King (Luddites at 200).
Turning the Tide against Deforestation and Biodiversity Loss
MAINPLENARY: 12.00 – 1.45
Rioto Rio: 20 Wasted Years?
Introduction by John Lanchberry, RSPB and Phil Thornhill, National Coordinator, Campaign against Climate Change
Deborah Doane, Director World Development Movement
George Barda, Occupy London
Stephen Tindale, ex-Director Greenpeace UK
Miriam Kennet, Co-Founder and CEO Green Economics Institute
SESSION 2: 2.45 – 4.00
Green Energy versus ‘Extreme Energy’ - Winning the Battle
Bio-Energy: the next Great Mistake in the Fight against Climate Change?
Thriving and surviving in the face of environmental change: migration, climate change and human rights
Can London lead the way in the Fight to Save the World from Ecological Meltdown?
Climate Emergency: Where the Science is Now
SESSION 3: 4.15 – 5.30
Economy: Green Growth alone is not enough, we need De-Growth
One Million Climate Jobs Now!
Building for a Stable Climate
Arctic Methane Emergency
Rio+20: A Landmark in the Fight against Eco-Crisis or just a lot of Hot Air?
Zero Carbon Britain 2030
Tobi Kellner (Centre for Alternative Technology)
SESSION 4 12:30 – 1:45
Inequity is not only bad for Society but also a Barrier to Dealing with the Ecological Crisis?
Tar Sands: can we shut down the world’s most destructive industry and avoid climate chaos?
Emily Coats ( UK Tar Sands Network)
Women and Climate Change
SESSION 5 2:30 – 3:45
Renewing Political Commitment to win the Global Battle against Eco-Calamity: A lost cause or is there a way forward?
Climate Justice: “We will not achieve environmental justice without a fundamental shift in values”
Change will only come from below: Action at the Local Level
Will Cottrell (Brighton Ecology Co-op), Chris Church (Low Carbon Communites), Simon Kenton (Community Action Groups project)
Law: New Frameworks and Concepts for a New Era of Environmental Progress and Justice
SESSION 6 4:00 – 5:15
Fracking: Building the Resistance
The Desertec Concept: Clean Power from Deserts
Hywel Roberts (TREC-power from the deserts)
The Horseless Carriage Strikes Back… at 80mph with acres of new tarmac
Daniel Scharf (Greenspeed), Sian Berry (Campaign for Better Transport), Stephen Plowden
Fighting the Climatic Impacts of Aviation: the US, Germany and the UK
>>> Full Speaker Bios see here
Thank you to everyone who joined us for this very successful event!
With over 100 participants, the venue was fully packed. Even John Vidal managed to join us at the return of his Arctic expedition!
The presentation by Peter Wadhams was very informational and enlightening, some might even say very frightening! The situation is clear and unequivocal, we need to act now! So don't forget to join us for our annual climate march on the 1st of December...
For those who unfortunately couldn't make it, please find some footage of the meeting here.
With Professor Peter Wadhams, Head of the Polar Oceans Physics Group at Cambridge University and John Vidal (Guardian Environment correspondent) who will just have returned from visiting the Arctic on a Greenpeace vessel...
Organised by the Campaign against Climate Change with the Arctic Methane Emergency Group
The Arctic ice cap is disappearing before our eyes: this is the first large scale unmistakable impact of climate change, clearly visible from space.
The arctic sea-ice broke an all time record for lowest ever extent on Friday 24th August (after breaking several other records according to other methodologies of measurement by other scientific institutions etc…). This was a bombshell because it was nearly a month before you would expect the ice to reach its seasonal minimum – it is still decreasing now and we can expect it to continue decreasing until around mid September (so we should probably have a good idea of the absolute minimum by the time of this meeting).
What does this mean for our estimates of when the arctic will be completely ice-free at the end of the summer ?
What will be the consequences when this happens ?
How will it affect the arctic biosphere, its animals its indigenous people ?
More to the point how will it effect the rest of the world, global weather patterns and the agriculture and food supplies dependent on those ?
What about the melting of the permafrost? How fast will that happen and how much will that accelerate global warming ?
What about the methane hydrates under the arctic ocean. How suddenly might they be released ? Are we looking at apocalypse tomorrow ?
Professor Wadhams is a leading expert on sea ice. Whilst the forecasts of the IPCC for instance have been left well behind he has been at the forefront of those in the scientific community predicting a rapid disappearance of arctic sea ice. In his own words :
“For 40 years I have been measuring sea ice thickness in the Arctic from UK submarines. I first detected substantial thinning in 1990, and since the most recent submarine voyage in 2007 I have been warning that the combination of sea ice retreat and a massive amount of thinning will lead to the disappearance of the summer sea ice by as early as 2015. Despite the fact that this is a simple extrapolation of a clear and measured trend I have been vilified by scientific colleagues for making such a seemingly radical prediction. I am pleased to see these same colleagues now jumping on the bandwagon and supporting my prediction”
"What is happening is that the Arctic is warming up 3-4 times as fast as the rest of the world. The sea ice grows less thick in winter, and melts more in summer, such that the entire ice cover is now on the point of collapse. The extra open water already created by the retreating ice allows bigger waves to be generated by storms, which are sweeping away the surviving ice. It is truly the case that it will be all gone by 2015. The consequences are enormous - a huge boost to global warming from two sources, the reduction in global albedo caused by the replacement of ice by open water, and an acceleration of methane release into the atmosphere as the warm open water causes seabed permafrost to melt.”[click ice volume graph above to enlarge]
Saturday March 3rd
Venue: Room B102, SOAS, Brunei Gallery, Russell Square campus. See here.
Time: 12pm - 5pm
Come and help us plan for the year's campaigning. See how you can get involved!
Discuss the upcoming year’s campaigning in the light of:
what the "agreement" reached at the Durban COP really means and how we should be reacting to it.
what we can expect from the Rio Summit and how will the US election effect global action on climate change and our campaigning around it?
To submit a resolution for the AGM please fill in a form here.
Note: If you are submitting a resolution, you need to be present at the AGM.
To submit a nomination for the steering group please fill in a form here.
Note: If you are submitting a nomination, you and the person seconding the nomination need to be present at the AGM.
The deadline for submissions is Wednesday 29th February, with last entry for amendments to resolutions is lunchtime on the day.
Fracking Osborne's Dash for Gas
Gathering storm against the UK's climate programme from the Tory Right. How can it be stopped?
Public Meeting, Monday 19th November at 7.00 pm
At Kings College Guy's Campus (near London Bridge) - Room change: now in Greenwood Theatre (55 Weston Street, London, SE1 3RA). Map here.
Speakers to include
Guy Shrubsole from Friends of the Earth
Tisha Brown from Frack Off
Ewa Jasiewicz from "No Dash for Gas"
How serious is the cold wind blowing ever stronger from the Tory Right against green energy and the attainment of climate targets?
How much damage will Osborne's dash for gas do in practice to the UK's climate programme? Is this the end of the Climate Act as an effective restraint on emissions?
How influential have the energy companies been in determining the agenda here?
Just how strongly will the government push fracking? Will it reach epidemic proportions around the country? What are the other unpleasant ways of producing gas in a domestic context that are being rolled out?
How strong is the local resistance to fracking and how can we help it?
What is the balance in parliament for and against renewable energy, wind power or more gas and a rolling out of fracking? What are the NGOs doing to lobby for the former against the latter?
Come and hear about - and discuss - this and more on Monday 19th.
Presentation from Tisha Brown from Frack Off
On 1st December!
Thank you to everyone who turned out on one of the coldest days this year. With our 7.2m fracking rig, we took a clear message to Parliament - "No Fracking in the UK", a message backed up by other actions around the country, and one that was picked up by the BBC (see here and here) amongst others. Not only that but there could hardly have been a more critical moment to stage a conspicuous show of opposition to the the government's unfolding plans for an expansion of fracking and a new dash for gas.
The day started at the US embassy where demonstators demanded that Obama end his self-imposed climate silence and that the US stop blocking progess at international Climate Talks, like those currently in progress at Doha in Qatar (where there was also a march on this Global Day of Action on climate:see here). CCC Coordinator Phil Thornhill set the scene by referencing this year's precipitate crash in arctic sea ice before moving on to the role of the US but the main highlight of this first part of the days activities was the building of a "Grosvenor Square Keystone pipeline" between the US and Canadian embassies (see video here) in solidarity with activists in North America resisting the export of polluting tar sand oil via the real Keystone XL Pipeline from Canada to the US. Jess Worth from the UK Tar Sands Network explained (see video here) the magnitude of the threat to the climate from the Tar Sands and described the heroic and - at this point - inspiringly effective resistance being made to them by North American activists.
Next came the mobile part of the day's event as demonstators marched, chanting and waving "No Fracking in the UK" placards, via Picadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square to parliament (see video here). After a last barrage of chants for "No fracking in the UK" and "Green Energy Now" Eve Macnamara from REAF ("Ribble Estuary against Fracking") described the ongoing resistance from local residents' groups like her own to the test drilling and planning applications already being pursued by the fracking companies. Symbolising that resistance the "fracking rig" was then hauled up on a rope to its full 7.2 meters, to cheers from the crowd (see video here).
There followed a speech from John McDonnel MP (Labour, Hayes and Harlngton) which included a rousing call to action for a movement against fracking and finally a speech from Natalie Bennett, the new leader of the Green Party, outlining the benefits of Green Energy.
All in all an inspiring day and a critical milestone in the building resistance to the Government's dash for gas and the anti-environmental backlash now coming from the Tory Right.
This year has seen the passing of an awesome milestone in the accelerating escalation of the climate crisis - the record shattering disapearance summertime arctic sea ice, which has now been predicted to disappear completely by 2015 (see further here and here). Something that was not predicted to happen till the end of the century is happening right now! But not only is climate change already altering the planet's basic geography, the rapid changes in the Arctic have been linked to recent extreme weather events that have destroyed crops and sent food prices spiraling, hitting the world's poorest hardest.
Yet even as the world is poised on the brink of a tragedy of unimaginable scale, none of our leaders seems to be so much as blinking an eyelid in response. Worse than that humanity is engaged in a madcap suicidal dash to unearth yet more of what caused the problem in the first place - fossil fuels. Even as some fossil fuels are becoming more expensive to extract, new types - often more carbon intensive - of fossil fuels are being discovered and exploited. We believe it's time to "get fracktious" about the criminal insanity of the way we are responding to probably the biggest threat humanity has ever faced.
Taking the "Arctic Wake up Call" to the Lib Dems
on Sunday 23rd September
We delivered an "Arctic wake-up call" in the form of a metre high iceberg to the Lib Dem conference in Brighton, to remind them of the urgency of standing up to the Tories over climate change.
We were outside the Brighton Centre on King's Road, on the seafront (see map)- with the iceberg - from around 9.00 am till early evening (around 7.00 pm). The weather was foul and there was much standing around in the wind and the rain (everything got soaked !) but that didnt stop us at all from delivering our message to the Lib Dem delegates (who had to be there, whatever the weather) and aorund 600 "Arctic Meltdown" leafelts were handed out as well as some other literature. Vince Cable's PA has our "Climate Emergency" booklet - we wonder whether whether he will read it ?!?!
The iceberg cost money. Thank you everyone who donated generously to the "Sponsor an Icberg" appeal. We raised enough to go ahead and have got pretty close to covering the cost of the iceberg but its not too late to add your own contribution, if you would like to, here.
On Sunday 26th August - the day after the news broke that the record minimum for Arctic sea ice had been broken - we took our 'Arctic Wake-up Call" (and an iceberg) to Downing Street ....See more about that and more about the arctic ice below ....
Arctic "Wake up Call"
outside Downing Street, Sunday 26th August at 1.00 pm
The day after the news appeared on the NSIDC website - that the minimum Arctic sea ice record had been broken - CCC activists were outside Downing Street with an "Arctic Wake up Call", demanding emergency action on climate now - from David Cameron and the government.
They went with a metre high block of ice carved to the shape of a (melting) iceberg. And with placards and graphs showing the message.
Despite the hyper-short notice maybe 30 odd gathered to deliver their urgent message: Cameron must not ignore the very clear message that Nature is giving him.
Couldn't make the demo in London? Then send an email to David Cameron telling him we need to ramp up our response to the unfolding Climate Emergency..... you can find a sample letter to cut and paste into the No.10 webform here.
Peter Wadhams, Professor of Ocean Physics and Head of the Polar Oceans Physics Group at Cambridge University supported the Downing Street ‘Wake Up Call’ and contributed this quote to our press release
When you think that the actual minimum for this season is unlikely to be reached till mid September or possibly later then you begin to realise how much of a bombshell this really is - we could see the all-time low record not just broken this year but obliterated....!!!
This means that an ice free arctic ocean could very rapidly become a reality and the consequences could be profound....for the effect that the warming arctic is already having on global weather patterns - with devestating impact on global food supplies - see Phil's blog here. For the potentially apocalyptic impact of a massive methane release triggered by an ice free and therefore warmer arctic see, for instance here and see the "Arctic Methane Emergency Group"'s take on it here.
However you look at it this is dramatic visible evidence of our rapidly warming planet - we can't let it be ignored yet again....
The actual figures are available from ftp://sidads.colorado.edu/DATASETS/NOAA/G02135/north/daily/data/NH_seaice_extent_nrt.csv (the record low was 4.13 million square km)
Saturday 17th March, Manchester
Methodist Central Hall, Oldham Street, Manchester. 11.00 am to 6.00 pm
British Isles - wide Anti Fracking Network formed !
The Gathering was a great success with more than 70 attending and more importantly representatives from anti-fracking groups all around the country ..... from REAF (Ribble Estuary, Lancashire), RAFF (Blackpool area, Lancashire), The Vale Says No (South Wales), No Fracking in Sussex (Balcombe and Lewis) and from Kent, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
Also present were activists from Frack Off and The Campaign against climate Change, Tony Bosworth from Friends of the Earth and Justin Woolford speaking on behalf of the Co-operative Society, whilst the meeting opened with a presentation from John Broderick from the Tyndall Centre
The most significant outcome of the Gathering was the formation of the British Isles wide Anti-Fracking Network.
The Gathering also featured reports from 8 local areas around the country and Workshop Sessions that included: 'All you need to know about fracking: General Introduction' by Will Cottrell from 'Frack Off'; 'Stop the frackers in your area: Planning and legal issues' with Laura Gyte from the FOE legal team, Andy Chiba from The Vale Says No and Felicity from TOOKS Chambers; 'Frack Free Zones and other useful campaigning initiatives' with Justin Woolford and Tony Bosworth from FOE; 'Extreme Energy' by Frack Off; Direct Action workshop by Frack Off - and finally a Presentation on fracking, coal bed methane and the companies pushing these by Paul Mobbs.
Activists from the all around the country left the Gathering better linked up than ever before, with a new sense of the strength of the nation-wide movement and buoyed up by a sense of common purpose for the fight ahead....
"At long last somebody is bringing a positive solution to the economic and climate crises we face."
Outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, Sarah Boyack MSP (Labour), Patrick Harvie MSP (Green) and Marco Biagi MSP (Nationalist) and Des Loughney, Secretary of Edinburgh TUC addressed those assembled to wave the caravan on its way. Before leaving Edinburgh the caravan stopped in the historic Grassmarket in the centre of the city for two hours to spread its positive message.
From there the northern caravan went on to Newcastle where the caravan had spent the morning engaging with many on the main shopping area. In the afternoon a meeting was held at a nearby venue where about 20 people from different organizations, including unions and local activists debated and discussed the issues raised by the caravan and the booklet on which its ideas are based, One Million Climate Jobs, produced by the Campaign against Climate Change Trade Union Group. The group agreed to set up a local CCC group to continue to campaign around these issues.
Around 35 people met in Derby to discuss One Million Climate Jobs and campaigning around this theme in Derby. Speakers included the Secretary of the local Trades Council, Keith Sonnet, Deputy General Secretary of UNISON and Suzanne Jeffery, Chair Campaign against Climate Change Trade Union Group. There was a good discussion with the meeting supported by the local Trades Council. The meeting agreed to adopt a local petition calling for Climate Jobs in Derby. The following day local activists and representative for the Climate Caravan met local councillors. The MP for Derby North Chris Williamson and a number of local councillors have signed a petition calling for Climate Jobs.
I want a Climate Job because… "climate change is the biggest threat to the human race – we need to tackle it."
About 30 people attended the Climate Jobs Caravan meeting in Leeds. Speakers represented the Green Party, Leeds CWU union, a local campaign against the building of an incinerator, students from Leeds Metropolitan university, and local socialists. Following a wide-ranging discussion, attendees agreed to set up a campaign for 10,000 climate jobs in Leeds. There was some discussion about whether to focus on climate jobs specifically or a wider campaign for green jobs. Speakers from the floor argued that it was important to campaign for both, but it was climate jobs that would make the difference to both austerity and the environmental crisis.
Our next stop was Stoke, where we were greeted by shop stewards from the PCS and by a couple of local councillors. They help us pitch camp beside a pedestrian precinct. The interior of the van is converted into a mini-cinema, with the climate jobs video showing within. Outside, a large ‘political plant’ is manoeuvred into place: a wheelie bin with huge fabricated leaves and flowers emerging from it, each one painted with climate-jobs slogans, that a Mancunian artist had dreamt up and donated. The councillors help us distribute leaflets, all the while filling us in with details of the local economic blight (the decimation of the ceramics industry, the closure of the Shelton Bar steelworks) and of the sustainability initiatives that they are attempting to push forward. In conversations with passers-by we are struck by the number of people who are either unemployed or working below qualification—most memorably, a graduate in environmental science who works at a supermarket checkout. Many signatures are added to our petitions, and only an occasional ‘climate denier’ raises his head; one such imagines that ‘I bet you read the Guardian!’ is a crafty taunt. He’s right: one of us does buy that day’s Guardian. It carries a story on the implosion of the so-called ‘green deal’: according to the government’s own figures, the rate of new loft and cavity wall insulations is collapsing, by 93% and 67% respectively.
I want a Climate Job because… "soon it will be too late, and where else are you gonna employ everyone?"
The caravan was met in Sheffield by activists and a local folk singer who was releasing her new record about climate change to coincide with arrival of the caravan. There was a very good response to the caravan during the day which was also visited by local councillors. There was an excellent 70 plus evening meeting following time spent with the caravan in the City centre. The next morning activists held a conference on an economy for the 99%.
The Liverpool event went very well. During the day we had a public "street market style" event with the climate van and a marquee where 9 local groups taking part.Joining the climate caravan stalls: PCS Union, Friends of the Earth, Liverpool Climate Action Network, Liverpool Green Party, Greenpeace, Merseyside CND, Recycles (and their bike doctor stall), Student Action for Refugees and the Merseyside Recycling & Waste Authority with the "Love Food, Hate Waste" van. We reached out to thousands of people during the day, getting many interested in the idea of climate jobs. We also had dozens signing the petitions and writing messages to the government about why they "want a climate job".
We had Artemis production performing throughout the day with a giant flower on stilts, interacting with children and gaining attention from by-passers. We also welcomed the Liverpool Socialists Singers entertaining us during the afternoon, especially with their new song "no to climate change". They will keep the song as part of their repertoire (but will change main line to "yes to climate jobs"!)
In the evening, we held a meeting about fracking at the Friends meeting house with 25 people attending (not too bad for a Saturday night with the football on!). We showed the film "fracking hell" followed with Philip Mitchell from Blackpool Green Party speaking and debate. We concluded the event by showing the short version of the "One million climate jobs" film introduced by John Stewart.
Overall, it was brilliant, got local groups to work together, something we hope to sustain and got some of our PCS Green reps engaged.
There was a very good day in Huddersfield. In the morning about half a dozen environmental and anti-cuts groups set up stalls around the caravan in Slaithwaite which finished with a short talk from me. Then a guided walk to see the solar panels installed on roofs and the opportunities for renewable energy generation and tackling fuel poverty from such initiatives.
Finally an evening showing of the One Million Climate Jobs film, a talk from John Stewart and a panel discussion. The panel included the Labour leader of Kirklees Council and Cat from UKYCC and a trade unionist with around 25 in attendance.
I want a Climate Job because… "climate change will not end without investment in people!
The Bolton meeting was very good. It was an excellent discussion. They're going to put together a future meeting to plan activity and have some excellent campaigning ideas. Lots of DVDs and pamphlets were sold, in part because 4 or 5 contributions explained how good the pamphlet was. A union member from UNISON spoke about raising the motion for One Million Climate jobs in their union meeting and want speakers to come and talk about the issue. Earlier in the day the report from Tony who is travelling with the van is that the response in Bolton was very positive. Though there were several stories of "despair” from local young people who are unemployed and hoped we were offering actual jobs. It is the local Bolton MP who has taken the initiated the early day motion on Climate Jobs.
We received an excellent response from the public throughout the day, a few people commenting that the proposals of the One Million Climate Jobs report aren't rocket science and pretty common sense stuff really. Leigh MP Andy Burnham also sent us a message saying he was very much "in support of our hard work for this important cause"
We have subsequently replied to him, thanking him for his support and to ask him to add his name to Bolton NE MP David Crausby's Early Day Motion in support of the Climate Jobs Caravan at: http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2012-13/65.
The evening meeting at Leigh Labour Club was also very positive, and there was an excellent discussion, with introductory speakers from the national one million climate jobs campaign, NUT and local Green Party . Those attending agreed to a proposal from Leigh UNITE Branch to meet again soon and to work together as a joint trades union, community, and cross-party campaign group covering the Wigan Borough area. Also, to work closely with others in neighbouring Bolton & Salford local authority areas to:
(i) promote the proposals of the One Million Climate Jobs Report,
(ii) to oppose any expansion of hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) for shale gas and coal bed methane, which might well be coming to our area soon with the promise of lots of new jobs but potentially hugely environmentally damaging consequences, which would also add to greenhouse gas emissions rather than reducing them
(iii) to promote locally based initiatives across our area such as community renewable energy co-operatives, co-operative community farms & land share projects, incredible edible and other such schemes/projects, etc, which might help local communities, practically address the issues of self-reliance, sustainability and climate change locally.
I want a Climate Job because… "The young generation is going to be a wasted generation and I want more for my grand children."
In Blackpool, around 25 people met to discuss whether Climate Jobs could be an alternative to Fracking. Speakers from the local anti-Fracking group pointed out the dangers from Fracking, and argued that while Blackpool desperately needed more jobs, fracking was not the answer, for safety and environmental reasons. Local campaigners also discussed the potential for working together in the future, particularly over questions of fuel poverty.
The Campaign for One Million Climate jobs visit to Lancaster culminated in a well attended public forum addressed by Martin Empson. This followed a week of other events, including two public film showings at the Dukes, a Green Jobs Fair at Lancaster and Morecambe College, and an all day event in Market Square where hundreds of people signed the national petition. There is now a core group of people locally, including trade unionists, Green Party members, and local councillors who are going to put together a local climate jobs plan for Lancaster. We have a large email list of interested people who want to be involved. We also plan to support the Zero Carbon Britain day with some imaginative activities.
I want a Climate Job because… "I have a degree in outdoor & environmental education but there are no jobs in the North West."
We spent most of the day with the van parked at Piccadilly gardens, quite a busy spot with plenty of people passing. Ewa and others used a megaphone to put across the arguments, and we had lots of good conversations, particularly with groups of young people, (though there were a couple of climate change deniers to be shaken off.) Many people signed the petition, most said they could not afford the pamphlet -except the ones Emma approached who all coughed up! Thank you Emma- for that and for the brilliant wheelie bin flowers. We had a good presence as fourteen people came to help at some point in the day, and we never had less than about six on and around the stall. Two of the volunteers on the day were new activists, full of enthusiasm. The only downside (apart from sunburn) was that none of the invited media turned up, so only the indefatigable photographer from the Quakers recorded the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress in their bling.
Our two hours near the Manchester universities were less successful in that we did not have such a prominent position for the van, but students relaxing in the park after exams were mostly happy to sign the petition and some were keen to discuss graduate unemployment and the possibility of climate jobs.
Our cavalcade consisted of three cyclists; Critical Mass were meeting nearby for their monthly ride round the city, but they did not join us, despite several approaches in the weeks leading up to the caravan. Some whom we spoke to said they would not ride with a fossil fuel powered vehicle - a stark illustration of the fragmentation and even hostility within the climate change and environmental movement!
Our meeting had over 50 people, not bad on a hot Friday night: Foe had a stall and the audience were a good mix of socialists, trade unionists, Greens, Quakers and others. Martin, Hannah, Karen Evans from UCU and Peter Allen from the Greens all gave good, punchy and varied speeches . The city council leader, Richard Leese, listed what the council have done and are planning,, notably retrofitting council buildings, but he was not sufficiently challenged on the inadequate scale and ambition and the "greenwash" elements of council policy. We had not planned this properly! However, we'll have a follow up meeting to look at what climate jobs might be created in Manchester and how best to campaign for them, which will involve challenging the council...
Thank you to all our speakers and to all who helped out during the day, specially Tony and Cat who had already driven the van to Manchester and to Liz, Ewa and Hannah who had done driving and navigating earlier in the tour.
I want a Climate Job because… "I don’t want to work for the machine or make the problem worse."
London the caravan was waived off on its way by supporters on a much welcome sunny day. Before the caravan departed from Parliament, John McDonnell MP, Murad Qureshi GLA member, Graham Peterson UCU, Francesca from UKYCC and Peter Colville from Occupy all pressed home the same message. Climate Jobs are an obvious and necessary way to tackle the growing climate crisis and the misery and obscenity of growing unemployment. Picking up on the Climate Job Centre theme, John McDonnell suggested that the slogan should be “Gizza Climate Job”.
Before leaving London the caravan was met at Grow Heathrow by supporters who have been part of the successful campaign to stop a Third Runway at Heathrow. Climate Jobs are the alternative to work based on increasing use of fossil fuels.
In Coventry the Caravan spent the day outside the national Trades Council conference. There was an excellent response from activists, many of whom took lots of leaflets and information back to their own branches.
I want a Climate Job because… "I want to ensure the future of our planet is protected while developing a career that makes use of my passion and skills. This would take me off the dole and end my unemployment!!!"
In Cardiff the southern caravan timed its visit to coincide with the TSSA rail union’s annual conference, parking outside the hotel and engaging with TSSA delegates and passers-by. They were delighted that the Conference agreed an emergency motion to embed the Climate Jobs campaign in to union campaigning, getting the message to branches, engaging members and asking for much-needed donations. The caravan then travelled across town to Unite’s Transport House. Here a stall was set up and films were shown during the afternoon.
In the evening over 40 people packed into the upstairs room of an atmospheric pub. They included a number of members of the TSSA union whose past president addressed the meeting. A positive discussion ensued. As at Newcastle, the various groups represented at the meeting agreed to try to form a network to promote the positive ideas of the caravan at a local and regional level.
I want a Climate Job because… "To save what we have got for future generations."
From Cardiff to Birmingham and a meeting in the splendid surroundings of Birmingham Town Hall. John Stewart spoke alongside Hanna Thomas, the Director of the Otesha Project which promotes green jobs for young in East London. Again, over 40 people from a range of organizations, including West Midlands Friends of the Earth whose well-respected coordinator, Chris Crean, chaired the meeting. The meeting included people who were doing work on practical job creation home insulation projects. At the end of the meeting the different organizations represented agreed that they wanted to coordinate their activities more closely in the future.
I want a Climate Job because… "I have a degree in environmental management. I have experience as a recycling officer. I lost my job because of cuts."
The Cambridge leg of the climate caravan was a step forward for the campaign locally with three events. The van had an excellent response in the pedestrianised zone during the day with lots of visitors to the stall and 25 pamphlets being sold.
A lunchtime meeting of bus users, organised by the Campaign for Better Transport and Friends of the Earth, brought together the council group leaders from both Labour and the Lib Dems alongside a climate jobs speaker. The Trades Council hosted an evening meeting with Suzanne Jeffery Chair of the Campaign against Climate Change Trade Union Group and from that a climate jobs centre is being planned for a local free festival as well as plan for a climate jobs audit to submit to the city councils local plan!
We hosted a speaker event in the main square in Oxford with the Lord Mayor, other Green Party and Labour City Councillors, Representative from UK Uncut, Euro MP Catherine Bearded and Ken from the “van”. The stall/van stayed to attract passersby for an hour until moving up to Oxford Brookes Uni where Occupy had set up camp and hundreds of leaflets were put into student hands. Then back down the hill to Wadham College for a debate which made up in substance for what it lacked in numbers. Important contributions were made by Colin Tudge on the extraordinary need and capacity of the food/agricultural industry to increase the labour force, from Paul Buckingham describing the problems of the building sector in building and refitting to the quality required, Graham Peterson on the contradiction between the need for training and skills while further eduction experiences cuts, and from Ken and Josh Moos from the Campaign against Climate Change Trade Union Group. Peter Dwyer from Ruskin College then spoke about the current political situation and we enjoyed a debate between left and right (or middle, with LibDem Catherine Bearder our Euro MP) and others discussing the opportunities which might arise from the current economic crisis.
We hope that other have such stimulating event inspired by the Climate Jobs Caravan. Our challenges in Oxford include greater involvement from the Unions and from the colleges of further education.
Trade Unionists, Green Activists, Quakers, socialists and non-aligned others were delighted to host the Caravan at The Forum in the city centre on Thursday May 17th. There was much enthusiasm for an idea whose time has come.
The evening public meeting generated an interesting 'how to' discussion, and a mailing list of people, who intend to take it further. It was noted that since Copenhagen, when 'they' were going to try to do some of what was necessary, things have changed and we can't afford it - though we can bail out the banks. We have an urgent climate crisis and a desperate need for jobs. Austerity is worsening both, the deregulated market has failed and the government response is characterised by the cut in the Feed in Tariff. A million climate jobs in the UK would lead to a stable climate and a stable economy, good long-term jobs, investment and tax base. There are local examples of pioneering projects, such as Kirklees fuel poverty reduction scheme, and Norfolk's energy supply company. We need government to follow with a national climate service.
I want a Climate Job because… "it is insane so many of us are unemployed while climate change threatens the lives of millions across the globe."
We had a good day. The Caravan visited various bodies involved in sustainable enterprises then came to Guildhall Square where the local newspaper sent a photographer to get shots of Alan Whitehead MP, the Leader of the Labour Council and myself plus shots of the caravan and the banner with a small crowd around it. Alan then opened the proceedings officially and we watched the video. The Caravan remained in the square until 8.30pm when it left for Portsmouth. The evening meeting went well and we finished the day with a promise from
Richard Williams, the Labour Leader to involve the TUC in their climate change panel and a member of the audience agreed to set up a community pressure group.
The Climate Jobs Caravan reached Portsmouth on 22nd May and spent the day in the pedestrianised shopping centre. On the street there was a good level of interest from the general public who readily accepted the idea that the government should directly employ people in climate jobs and create a national climate service. There was particular interest from those out of work and those with a memory of the formative years of the welfare state and NHS, but support was still much more general. People shared their ideas for local climate jobs projects in the Portsmouth area; these included the use of harbour marine power, wind power on Portsdown Hill and dockyard engineering skills for training and diversified manufacture.
An evening meeting was attended by 15 people who included a UCU environmental rep, NUS reps, a Unison green rep, a local Lib Dem councillor, members of Portsmouth Climate Action Network, members of Portsmouth Socialist Workers Party and the general public. After talks by Suzanne Jeffery (Chair, TU Group, Campaign against Climate Change) and Hanna Thomas (Ortesha Project), an engaged discussion continued for an hour and a half. The meeting decided that future actions in Portsmouth should include: building local support for the Early Day Motion initiated by the MP for Bolton, continuing the local petition until 5000 signatures will trigger a council debate, map local industries and education providers relevant to climate jobs, engage the council to host a conference and explore opportunities to lead projects on energy efficiency and solar power (such as the projects in Wrexham), challenge the emphasis on retail for development and promote collective bargaining for community green deals.
I want a Climate Job because… "We need to seriously invest in the future, forget about “defence” spending and let’s make some real positive changes for everyone’s benefit."
23 May – The Caravan in Brighton, partly for the PCS annual conference. We set-up with the van right on the promenade, in an official parking space allocated to us by Brighton City Council. The weather was glorious. Holiday-makers with ice creams mingled with the passers-by who stopped and asked questions. Especially encouraging was the number of eastern European visitors who took the pamphlets and told us about their worries about climate change. At 12.30 we held a lunch-time meeting at Sussex University hosted by their Environment Society. Our speakers were Gareth Dale, a lecturer at Brunel University, and Hanna Thomas, a former Sussex student who now oversees the Otesha Project’s East London Green Jobs Alliance. I chipped-in about the importance of students for the movement, but the best contributions came from two seasoned activists from the Labour Representation Committee who had come up to the university to support the Caravan. The day ended with an open “green fringe” meeting at the PCS conference. About 60 people attended, most of them delegates. Some inspiring speeches from, among others, Chris Baugh, PCS Assistant General Secretary, Brighton MP Caroline Lucas, and Clara Paillard, a PCS member who had organised the Caravan’s visit to Liverpool. Our own Suzanne Jeffery spoke especially well. A good day, but not untypical.
I want a Climate Job because… "No planet, no nothing."
24 May – We were up at six to claim our spot at the market in Redhill, booked by the local Greens. We parked the van under a tree with the full Caravan panoply of tables, props and display stands. No public meeting that evening but a long, long day talking to shoppers and school students and giving out our literature. We were joined for most of the day by local Green Party members, some of them councillors, and an activist from Redhill Transition Town who gave amazingly succinct explanations of the Million Climate Jobs campaign to anyone who asked. Isobel Tarr from UKYCC, who had been on the van since Southampton, was also brilliant at talking to people. A reporter from the local paper did an interview with me and Green Councillor, Jonathan Essex, and all of us lined up against the van for a photo-op. One woman told us, “You people bring us hope, which is what we need at the moment.”
The climax of the southern route of the tour was reached when the caravan arrived in London on Friday 25th May. Its first stop was the Department of Work and Pensions. A letter was handed in to the Department asking Chris Grayling, the Minister responsible, to seriously examine the message of the tour: that a million climate jobs be created to help solve the economic and environmental crises which we face. A number of the messages the caravan had picked up from around the country from people explaining why they would like a climate job were also handed into the Department.
The tour ended with an evening rally in central London with a range of speakers from politics, the trade unions and from environmental and social movements. The mood was upbeat. We felt that the caravan had brought a message of hope to many in near-despair, had outlined a solution which activists could unite around and fight for and had provided a real challenge to the politics of cutbacks and climate negligence.
I want a Climate Job because… "I want to have a world that future generations can live in."
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We are facing a Climate Emergency. Global temperatures are rising and Arctic ice melt is outpacing the IPCC's worst predictions. We might hope that the BBC would lead the way in providing clearsighted coverage of the situation, but unfortunately this is not always the case. So for example, on 13 July, in an interview on the Today programme, John Humphrys asked "You can't absolutely prove, can you, that CO2 in the atmosphere is responsible for global warming?"
On 17 September, a new Director General, George Entwistle, will take office at the BBC. We will be writing to him to ask for the BBC to take its responsibilities seriously when it comes to reporting climate change.
Please add your name to the letter and show him that this is something many licence fee payers care about.
Emergency Demo – Thursday 26th July, 5.00 pm to 7.00 pm
At the Treasury, 1 Horse Guards Road
Missed the demo ? - online action (email Nick Clegg via Friends of the Earth website) here
Protestors gathered outside the treasury to demand genuine renewables, not a second dash for gas. In line with this they demanded that the decarbonisation of the electricity supply by 2030 be written into the forthcoming Energy Bill (as recommended by the Committe on Climate Change). George Osborne was identified as currently the biggest obstacle to progress on tackling climate change in the UK - if he and the Tory Right get their way on a second dash for gas it will render the Climate Act effectively dead in the water.
For more background to the demo see below.....
Latest - The Government announced today that levels of onshore wind subsidy will be cut only by 10%, not the 25% demanded by the Treasury. But they state that gas is expected to play a 'key role'. A 'dash for gas' has not been ruled out, with £500 million new subsidy for gas fields announced.
In order to meet the government's legally binding emissions targets, it is essential that the Energy Bill contains a commitment to decarbonise the electricity sector by 2030. Without this, the way is open for unabated gas to take over, and the Climate Change Act will effectively be left dead in the water.
A major battle lies ahead, between Osborne and the right wing of the Tory party on the one hand and those seeking to fight climate change on the other. Time to say NO to a fossil fuel future!
A leaked letter (see Financial Times article here - you need to register but it's free) revealed that “George Osborne had offered to drop his demands for tougher cuts to onshore wind subsidies if the Liberal Democrats backed down over “inflexible” targets for Britain’s shift away from fossil fuels” – in other words if they agreed to effectively ignore the targets enshrined in the Climate Act, thereby rendering it effectively dead.
The Commons energy committee has recommended that the forthcoming Energy Bill set a target for largely decarbonising the electricity supply by 2030. The Committee on Climate Change has said that this is effectively the only way that the UK can fulfil its statutory carbon reduction commitments. Osborne however has been pushing for unabated gas and therefore the effective abandonment of meaningful climate targets.
Osborne has been allying himself with the Tory right against wind farms and using this to pressurise the Lib Dems into accepting a climb-down from the projected decarbonisation of electricity by 2030. Ed Davey the Lib-Dem Energy Secretary had already accepted a 10% cut in the subsidies for wind energy but backbench Tories were pushing for 25% cuts to the subsidies for onshore wind.
So Osborne and the Tory right are effectively pushing for a second dash for gas in place of a determined attempt to move to renewable energy – and in the process they are destroying investor confidence in what was a booming sector. Even Tim Yeo – senior Tory and former minister – has accused Osborne of wrecking the government’s green energy plans to placate backbench Tories. See Guardian article here and further Guardian blog here.
Osborne’s attack on the green policies (already woefully inadequate in the light of the climate science) of the Coalition has been ramping up over several months and has now reached a peak which clearly threatens to annihilate the ground-breaking Climate Act, as a viable means of keeping to (even inadequate) carbon reduction targets.
Credit: Emanuele Giovagnoli
Wednesday 7th November
3.00 pm to 5.00 pm: Activists demonstrated outside the UK HQ of 'Koch International' at Fountain House, at 130 Fenchurch Street, in the City
5.00 pm to 6.00 pm: Acticvists boarded the "Dirty money and climate lies" open-topped bus for a ride from the City to the US embassy at Grosvenor Square.
6.00 pm: Tea Party at the US embassy
Activists called for Obama to break his self-imposed 'Climate Silence', to stop allowing the extreme right to dominate the agenda on climate, and to take action on climate at home and stop sabotaging progress at the international negotiations.
There were quotes from Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Rick Santorum, Michelle Bachmann, Ron Paul, Senator James Inhofe, Dick Armey et al on why "God wouldn't allow global warming" and it's all a socialist-inspired hoax. Photos were taken of Romney and Obama as puppets manipulated by the Koch brothers, of the "Obama End the Climate silence" banner (photo above) etc...
The US has stood out as the only significant nation to consistently reject the Kyoto protocol, the only international treaty so far negotiated on climate change and is still the biggest immediate barrier to effective internationally coordinated action on climate (see e.g. here).
As the world's most powerful nation the US inevitably has a huge influence on the international process - which makes it all the more damaging that in the last few years, as part of a Tea-Party-led lurch towards right wing extremism, one of the two major parties of the US has become dominated by an overtly climate-sceptic, or denialist, agenda. This politicisation of what should be a rational, science-based debate has had hugely damaging repercussions, with a parallel climate-sceptic take-over of the mainstream right wing party in Australia and knock on impacts in other countries, including the UK where the right wing of the Tory party is feeling the magnetic pull of "tea party politics".
A dominant factor in all this has been the power of special interests and the corporate funding of climate-denial along with extremist right-wing politics. The biggest funder of climate denial - as identified by US Greenpeace - have been the Koch Brothers - also identified as a major funder, and even part-instigator, of the "Tea Party". The CCC has already organised two protests outside the London HQ of the International arm of their massive privately owned business conglomerate - see here and here.
Our protest the day after the US election 2012 started outside the London offices of Koch International to highlight the role of corporate money in funding lies and disinformation on climate change. Campaigners then boarded an open-top bus to take the message through the streets of London and symbolically link fossil-fuel industry cash with the US government and election. There was then a demonstration outside the US embassy, calling on Obama to "End the Climate Silence" , speak out and take action on climate change.
Photo credit: Emanuele Giovagnoli
Saturday July 21st 2012
The 'Race to Zero' event organised by Southampton Cycling Campaign and the Green Party on behalf of the Campaign against Climate Change
One of the events around the country promoting the goal of a Zero Carbon Britain by 2030 (see more about that here).
We need a bold ambitious target both for the UK to fulfill its responsibilities to the rest of the world (especially the poorest and most vulnerable) and to do our very best to jog the rest of the world (especially the rich and powerful) into getting serious about an effective international agreement to bring down greenhouse gas emissions globally. Zero Carbon by 2030 is just the bold ambitious target we need for the UK. For more about Zero Carbon Britain see here.
Thanks to everyone who came to the AGM!
The campaign is off to a good start with a meeting full of discussion and debates, and with 5 new members coming onto the steering group. The minutes of the meeting are now available here and the results of the resolutions here. You can also find video reports from the Guest Speakers using the links below:
Come and help us plan for the year's campaigning!
Saturday 2nd March
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Hundreds say No to Fracking at Camp Frack 2
Despite rough weather conditions, hundreds of protesters attended Camp Frack 2 at Mere Brow in Lancashire last weekend to demonstrate their opposition to fracking and support for climate jobs.
Organised by a coalition of local and national anti-fracking, Trades Union, and environmental groups including Campaign against Climate Change, Camp Frack 2 brought people together from across the country to demonstrate a unified front and share campaign strategies against hydraulic fracturing.
The weekend involved talks, presentations, workshops and a protest action which brought together hundreds of local and national activists.
How much will it cost?
Want to help? (This will grant you free access to the event, beer tokens and meal vouchers.) We are looking for stewards, first aiders and artists: please check our steward page and email us now at email@example.com.
Buses: Bus route 2X runs approximately half hourly seven days a week between Preston, Mere Brow and Southport, running past Preston station and close to Southport station. Buses run through to and from Liverpool as route X2. Note that the last bus from Preston (Mon-Sat) is at 19:24, but there are later buses from Southport (till 22:11). Mere Brow is also served by route 347 between Chorley, Rufford and Southport, but this isn’t very frequent and there’s nothing on Sundays.
Trains: the best rail station with a Sunday service is Burscough Bridge on the Manchester-Wigan-Southport line. On Monday-Saturday there are also New Lane on the same line (but with fewer trains stopping) and Rufford on the Ormskirk-Preston line.
Walkers and cyclists: Please check the Camp Frack website.
You can find a map of the site here.
What to bring
Thursday 11th April, 8am, London Lancaster House.
There was a great turnout this morning to show US Secretary of State John Kerry, will have the official role of Keystone XL tar sands pipeline approver or disapprover, that he will be met with opposition to dirty tar sands wherever he goes. He and Obama have been met with anti-KXL protests nearly everywhere they've been lately, including an astonishing 1000 strong protest in San Francisco this week. We were there in solidarity with Canada's First Nations, our US allies, and everyone already suffering the effects of climate change, to show Secretary Kerry that this is a global concern. Thanks to everyone who came along. To see more photos of the event visit us on Facebook.