2010 events

National Climate March 2010


March on Parliament for a Zero Carbon Britain

Saturday December 4th

Image                                                                                                                               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. 

Image
                                                                                                                                    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.

 The National Climate March  was part of a Global Day of Action with actions and demonstrations on climate all around the world on the Saturday midway through the UN Climate Talks in Cancún, Mexico, See www.globalclimatecampaign.org
 
The demands of the march were a  Zero Carbon Britain by 2030, One Million Climate Jobs Now!, Ten percent cuts in one year, Real Cuts not offsets, a Green Energy Revolution,
a Moratorium on Agrofuel use, End Domestic Flights, Expand Public Transport and a 55 mph speed limit


The Climate March happened despite the freakish wintry weather (although it got a little milder on the day): see here and here how this cold winter weather is linked to climate change.

Climate Emergency Bike Ride 2010


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.


View route in a larger map

Zero Carbon by 2030: Action for the Climate Emergency

Image
Saturday 30th October
 
Friends House, Euston Road, London
 
ImageA great event was held in Friends House on Saturday October 30th with a rich diversity of speakers and fast-paced sessions interspersed with music and video - and plenty of time for discussion. The theme was creating a Zero Carbon Britain by 2030 but the climate crisis was addressed from a variety of angles. The serious speaker sessions were followed by some great music in the evening concert that followed.... and the sounds even kept going in the pub till late at night...
 
Video highlights from the speaker sessions have been uploaded here.
 
Speakers included Jonathan Essex (Green Party), Maria Souviron (Bolivian Ambassador), Alexis Rowell (‘Cutting the Carbon’, Camden CAN), Andrew Simms (New Economics Foundation), George Marshall (founder, COIN), Ben Brangwyn (Transition Towns), Vicki Hird (FoE Real Food Campaign), John Stewart (HACAN, AirportWatch), Stephen Murphy (‘Zero Carbon Britain’ Team), Deepak Rughani from Biofuelwatch. See more about the speakers here.
 
 
The Copenhagen debacle made it clear that we will not see any kind of effective reponse to the Climate Emergency coming out of the international negotiations before there is a radical shift in climate politics and policy at the national level. What we are seeing in the UK, however, is a painfully slow, faltering and piecemeal approach from a government that clearly does not regard the imminent threat of catastrophic climate change as its first priority. What we need is a coherent plan of radical action on a scale sufficient to match the threat.
 
We know the curent response to the climate crisis is woefully inadequate - the meeting presented a positive and realsitic alternative to this.
 
The timetable for the day was:
 
with musical interludes and video by Andrea Gordillo.
 

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.

 2.00 pm        “Yes we can!”
                       With Stephen Murphy from the Zero Carbon Britain team,
                       Ben Brangwyn from Transition Towns.    Questions and discussion chaired
                       by George Marshall.
 
3.15 pm       Break
 
3.45               “Yes we must!”  
                      With Maria (Souviron Bolivian ambassador), Vicki Hird from the Friends of the
                     Earth Food Chain campaign, Deepak Rughani (Biofuelwatch), John Stewart
                     (Airport Watch/
HACAN). Questions and discussion chaired by George Marshall.
 
4.50 pm       “Win-win”
                      One million Climate Jobs and a Green New deal. John McDonnel via video.
                      Andrew Simms (New Economics Foundation),  Alexis Rowell (Camden CAN)
                      and 10:10.
Questions and discussion chaired by George Marshall.
                              
6.30 pm       End of Forum
 
The evening continued with
 
7.00pm  Climate Concert  
                Seize the Day, Jess Gold, 'Climate Justice All stars', Chris Bluemel and
                others...
 

MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKERS.....................

Image
Caroline Lucas is leader of the Green Party and the first elected Green MP in the UK. Before being elected to the House of Commons in May this year she had been Green MEP for the South East since 1999. Green Party policy is to reduce UK emissions by 90% by 2030, with (roughly) 10% cuts per year from now until then,.  
 
 
 
ImageJohn McDonnell has been the Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington since 1997 and played a major role in the fight against Heathrow expansion (in his constituency). He represents a powerful voice on the Left of the Labour party - serving as Chair of the Socialist Campaign Group, the Labour Representation Committee, and the "Public Services Not Private Profit Group".

 
ImageJohann Hari is an outspoken journalist on climate change ( and many other subjects !) He is an inveterate battler against greenwash and half measures and has offered a radical critique of , for instance, the corporate subversion of environmental groups in the US.
 
 

 

ImageBen Brangwyn is one of the founders of Transition Towns, perhaps the biggest grass-roots climate network in the UK with over 300 communities recognized as official Transition Towns in the UK. The transition Town movement focuses on ‘energy descent’ at the local level to combat the twin threats of climate change and peak oil.
 
 
 
ImageMaria de Souviron is the UK ambassador of Bolivia where a Southern challenge to corporate Northern dominance of the international Climate Talks began to emerge at the Cochabamba conference in April this year. Bolivian President Evo Morales has been outspoken on Northern responsibility for the climate crisis and convened the Cochabamba conference to offer a ‘peoples’ alternative’ to the ‘Copenhagen Accord’ imposed by the US and other countries last year. The Cochabamba declaration argues for a radical target of 1 degree and 300 ppm.
 
ImageStephen Murphy is the public spokesperson for the team from the ‘Centre for Alternative Technology’ who produced this summer’s ‘Zero Carbon Britain’ report. Controversial in many aspects the report nevertheless offers a coherent, holistic, research-based plan for deep and rapid emissions cuts in the UK. It gives credibility to ambitious targets and provides a stimulating basis for debate for a radical way forward…

 
ImageAndrew Simms is policy director of the New Economics Foundation and head of its Climate change programme. He is a leading proponent of the ‘Green new Deal’ having co-authored the groundbreaking Green New Deal report and co-founded the Green New Deal group.
 
 
 
 
 
ImageChris Baugh is the assistant General Secretary of the PCS (Public and Commercial Service Union) which has played a leading in promoting the “One Million Climate Jobs Now!” campaign, with Chris, himself, as their outstanding spokesperson.
 
 
 
 
 
ImageJohn Stewart is the  master strategist behind the successful campaign against the proposed third runway at Heathrow. For many years a prominent anti-roads campaigner John is the chair of HACAN Clear Skies and of Airport Watch.
 
 
 
 
 
ImageVicki Hird coordinates the Friends of the Earth ‘Fix the Food Chain’ campaign, which highlights some of the more overlooked sources of climate destabilising emissions – namely those that arise from land use change and deforestation which are largely the result of production to feed the demand in the UK and other Northern countries, particularly for feedstock for a growing industrialised livestock industry.
 
 
ImageGeorge Marshall was for many years a driving force in Rising Tide and subsequently the founder of COIN – the Climate Outreach and Information Network. He is also an author, raconteur and performer with his own very special take on the climate crisis.
 
 
 
 
ImageAlexis Rowell is the founder of ‘Cutting the Carbon’, the Councils coordinator of the 10 by 10 campaign, and a Lib Dem councillor, himself, for Camden Council from 2006-10. He is joint coordinator of Transition Belsize and Camden CAN (Climate Action Network).

 

National Demonstration against Agrofuels


Saturday 25th September

Image

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. 

ImageHere 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 https://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.  

 


View in a larger map

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!

End Domestic Flights Now!


Demonstrations in London and Manchester, Saturday 4th September

Image
Demonstration at City Airport, London - 11.45 am

Image
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.

 

Image

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.

ImageAfter 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:
www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2059032&id=1499955886&l=0a8299c2c9
www.demotix.com/news/429458/climate-protesters-call-ban-domestic-flights
www.demotix.com/news/428587/end-domestic-flights-now-protest-londonmanchester

And from the Manchester part of the demo:
www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2010/09/458119.html?c=on#c255073
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.

'Why we should end domestic flights: aviation in the era of climate emergency"


Public Meeting, Wednesday 11th August

Image

Alan Haughton

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.

 

 

 

Zero Carbon Britain 2030


The Zero Carbon Britain Reportis this our blueprint for the future?

Public Meeting and Debate Thursday 22nd July
organised by the Campaign against Climate Change.

Image

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.

AUDIO PODCASTS:
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.

Bolivian 'People's Climate Conference' - what does it mean for us?


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.

Image

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 !

Climate Emergency overnight vigil


Image
Lighting the candles for the Climate Emergency message outside St Martin-in-the-Fields

ImageThe 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).

Photo galleries:

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:



View in a larger map

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.

A rising tide of lies, ignorance and disinformation on climate change… where is it coming from?


ImagePUBLIC MEETING

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.
 

Campaign against Climate Change Trade Union conference 2010

Image
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).

You can check out all the photos on Indymedia and see videos of some of the speeches on blip.tv.

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.

Climate Emergency: "Where next after Copenhagen?" planning meeting

 Image
PLANNING MEETING

 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.