The independent London newspaper

Climate change emergency demands action not just words

03 May, 2019

• OVER the holiday weekend BBC reported on Extinction Rebellion’s West End blockades, moorland wildfires in Yorkshire and the hottest Easter on record without appearing to recognise any possible link between the three – exactly the sort of reason why the XR blockaders felt the need for their action.

As they said, they were reluctant to disrupt people going about their daily business but have tipped over, beyond frustration, because the UK and its government simply aren’t listening and are failing to recognise that climate change is an emergency; that it is affecting us already – fires, floods, rising temperatures – and will get worse in future; and that we only have a few short years to prevent worldwide disaster.

The remarkable Swedish teenager, Greta Thunberg, who kicked off the school strike movement last year, put it very succinctly, for her own and future generations: if your house is on fire, you wouldn’t just sit around discussing insurance or renovation.

At the same time, veteran broadcaster and national treasure David Attenborough, with his programme Climate Change: The Facts, stressed that without dramatic action over the next decade “we could face irreversible damage to the natural world and the collapse of our societies”.

Several councils have now declared a climate emergency, as has London Mayor Sadiq Khan, in response to a motion tabled by Islington’s Green councillor Caroline Russell, who is an Assembly member too.

Locally, Councillor Claudia Webbe said on our Town Hall steps in February that a climate emergency motion would be brought to Islington Council in June to recognise this officially, which the Green Party welcomes whole­heartedly.

Climate change is an emergency. Our house is on fire. We need action not just words – for all our generations! – and we look forward to seeing both the Mayor’s and Islington Council’s action plan.

Islington Green Party


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