Ironbridge climate activists plan mass ‘alarm call’ to world leaders at COP26

Climate campaigners in Shropshire are planning on sending a loud message to world leaders at the Cop26 conference in Glasgow at the end of the month.

The Iron Bridge in Ironbridge, Telford
The Iron Bridge in Ironbridge, Telford

A new campaign called ‘Deep Water Rising’ is demanding urgent action to protect human communities and the natural world from climate change, with a special focus on the devastating impacts of flooding arising from extreme rainfall and rising sea levels.

The Deep Water Rising campaign is calling on people across the UK to 'Call the Alarm' to Cop26, the UN’s Climate Change Conference being held in Glasgow in early November 2021.

These events will be peaceful, inclusive gatherings at iconic waterside locations all over Britain on October 30, the eve of Cop26. The events will be open to all people who wish to channel their fears about climate change – and their hopes for effective action – into a powerful, noisy message to world leaders assembling in Glasgow.

For those people unable to leave their homes, there will be an opportunity to join in with a burst of ‘Pandemonium’ on doorsteps and at windows.

Organisers in Shropshire are asking people to meet at the Iron Bridge at 5.15pm on October 30 to make a noise about climate change at 6pm.

Kevin Bundy of Deep Water Rising, Telford, said: “Our world has never been in greater peril than it is now. We don’t need yet more empty promises, failed targets and greenwash from the world leaders gathering at Cop26.

"Despite all their talk over 25 previous meetings they have failed to protect us from the effects of climate change. We want people to join us in calling out those failures; we want the rich and powerful attending COP to know that we are watching them.

“We are asking climate concerned groups and individuals to join us at 17.15pm beside the Iron Bridge, and send a loud and urgent message to COP on October 30. There will be a warm welcome waiting.

"Bring something to shine a light with as we ask world leaders to lead us to a better future. Bring anything you can use to make a noise alongside our samba band. Bring your family, friends and neighbours, and together, after a two minutes silence for our planet, help us call the alarm to cop at 18:00pm.

“People who are unable to join us in Ironbridge are invited to stand on their doorsteps with lights, pots and pans, to join in the silence at 17.58 and then to raise pandemonium to Cop26 at 18.00pm."

Flooding in Ironbridge earlier this year

Earlier this month the man who runs the 10 museums at the famous UNESCO World heritage site said Ironbridge needs to accepts its role as a birthplace of climate change.

As well as being the ‘birthplace of the industrial revolution’, Nick Ralls said: "The iron smelting that took place in the early 1700s signalled the move away from wood to the use of coal.

“It kicked off industrialisation and became the staple fuel that was used around the UK.

“But that process was producing pollution. So climate change, to an extent, started with industrialisation and it started here.

“Ironbridge was an amazing and innovative place, but while you could see the furnaces burning brightly at night, there was also a pool of smoke that hung over the gorge because of this process.

“It is important that we get these stories across to our visitors, because climate change and environmental issues are so important and topical.”

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