As COP27 reaches its mid-point in Egypt, a coalition of activists are taking to the streets across the UK today, calling on the government to take greater action on the climate and cost-of-living crises.
The protests are being organised by the Climate Justice Coalition and are in solidarity with the Global Day of Action called by Egyptian groups at COP27.
Formerly known as the COP26 Coalition, the Climate Justice Coalition is a UK-based alliance of groups and individuals who share the same goal – to build solidarity and power around climate justice. The coalition expects thousands to congregate at a total of 40 demonstrations being staged at cities across Britain and Ireland.
The protests are bringing together climate groups, trade unionists, cost-of-living activists, and social justice groups, who are calling on the government to “implement real climate solutions that solve both the climate and cost-of-living crises and ensure that everyone has a right to live with dignity.”
The demonstrations mimic those that were held during last year’s COP26, when over 300 protests took place around the world.
Among the campaigners is Stop Rosebank, which campaigns against government approval of the Rosebank oil field in the North Sea. The site contains around 500 million barrels of oil, and the government is considering approving the site for oil extraction. Mary O’Brien of the Stop Rosebank campaign, spoke of how projects like Rosebank only benefit oil companies when they are “already making billions in profits and causing widespread harm.”
“If the UK government were to approve the vast new Rosebank field it would be adding fuel to the fire that is engulfing our planet.
“Climate science is perfectly clear that new oil and gas is incompatible with the urgent action we need to take to cut climate pollution,” said O’Brien.
Extinction Rebellion are joining the nationwide protests. Joan Forehand of Extinction Rebellion Scotland, said:
“None of us are going to be insulated from the climate crisis but there is terrible injustice and unfairness to this catastrophe. It’s only fair that loss and damage payments are given to those who will suffer the most from this crisis, through no fault of their own.”
Asad Rehman, director of War on Want, said COP27 “must not be defined by the empty words of Sunak and co, but by the determined resistance of all the world’s people.”
Sunak U-turned on COP27
Rishi Sunak had originally said he was not attending the UN climate summit in Egypt. However, following a global backlash, he U-turned on the decision, with some speculating that his change of heart was prompted by rumours that Boris Johnson was expected to attend.
Keir Starmer accused the prime minister of spending “weeks flirting with the climate change deniers in his party” before “scuttling off” to the COP27 summit “at the last minute.”
The Labour leader is demanding that Sunak tightens the windfall tax on oil and gas companied after Shell reported “record profits this year of £26bn.”
Meanwhile, shadow climate secretary Ed Miliband described Sunak as a “fossil fuel PM who had to be dragged to COP27.”
“Higher bills, climate delay under the Tories. Lower bills, energy security, climate leadership with Labour. That is the choice at the next election,” said Miliband.
Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a contributing editor to Left Foot Forward
Image credit – Climate Justice Action
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