Brighton and Hove is a hub of environmental and political activity, and activists met on 11 June to discuss forming a local climate network. Those at the meeting came from environmental and political organisations, faith groups and trade unions, and there was a strong consensus that we needed to work together to ensure massive local support for the protests around the UN climate talks in Paris. It was agreed as a first step to set up a co-ordinating group for the mobilisations for the November 29th national demonstration and the mass cycle ride to the Paris COP.
On Saturday 20th June 250,000 people marched together to protest against the impact that ''austerity' - government cuts now and planned for the future are having on people's lives, particularly the most vulnerable.
Activists from the Campaign against Climate Change, Friends of the Earth, Reclaim the Power and others came together in a 'climate bloc' because our chances of avoiding catastrophic climate change are also threatened by these short-sighted policies.
We have to invest in infrastructure across the UK that will give us a cleaner, safer, fairer future: renewable energy, public transport, warm homes for all. In doing this, much-needed jobs can be created. But instead, we are promised five years of cuts: cuts to the home insulation budget, cuts to bus services, cuts to cycling investment, and cuts to onshore wind subsidies, a vital form of clean energy. We can't afford to wait five years: scientists are telling us that urgent action is needed now to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Government must rethink its frantic cost-cutting for the sake of future generations.
In 2015, climate change is breaking records and taking lives. At the time of writing, the heat wave in India has caused over 2,300 deaths, bringing it close to being the country's most deadly. Temperatures of up to 47C have been recorded.
India's minister for earth sciences, Harsh Vardhan, said “Let us not fool ourselves that there is no connection between the unusual number of deaths from the ongoing heat wave and the certainty of another failed monsoon. It’s not just an unusually hot summer, it is climate change.”