Campaign group: Ironbridge's industrial revolution started climate change – and it's up to us to fix it
The path to global warming started in Ironbridge with the industrial revolution, and it's up to all of us to address the issues it has caused, a Shropshire environmental group has said.
Global Justice Shropshire, which meets in Shrewsbury, said that countries like the UK had benefitted the most from fossil fuels, but that poorer countries were the first to be hit by the negative impact.
It comes after Sir David Attenborough's speech to Parliament’s business, energy and industrial strategy committee, in which he said that global warming was started in Britain.
The 93-year-old documentarian said it was the result of the Industrial Revolution, and said there was no reaction "radical enough" to undo the damage.
In a statement from campaign group Global Justice Shropshire, the group said: "David Attenborough’s involvement is so helpful in bringing home to all of us the dangers of climate change for people and the beautiful natural world.
"Ironbridge is known as the birthplace of the industrial revolution and countries like the UK have benefitted the most from the exploitation of fossil fuels. So, we can say that the path to global warming started in the UK with the start of the industrial revolution. However, it is poorer countries which are being hit first and worst by the effects of climate breakdown. This gives us a special responsibility to lead the urgent transition away from fossil fuels - and to help poorer countries to afford this transition too. Plus, many of the corporations and financial institutions which contribute to climate change through their activities or investments, especially in oil and coal, are based in the UK."
The group said that individuals of all ages could make changes to address the climate emergency.
"There are individuals of all ages who are serious about addressing climate change," the group said. "Equally, many of us in every age group need to re-evaluate our lifestyles in the face of this crisis.
"Making changes individually is important but perhaps most important is to put pressure on our government to take the scale of the climate emergency seriously and make the big changes necessary. Young and old, we can all play a role in this, including by joining in with groups like Global Justice Shropshire."
Shropshire Council declared a climate emergency in May, with many other town and parish councils also joining the fight.
Many councils are looking at their own carbon footprint, and working to cut back on the impact they have on the environment.
Report by Will Hubbard