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Mock funeral procession by Extinction Rebellion in Telford to mark critical climate report

By Rob Smith | Wellington | News | Published:

Extinction Rebellion protesters marched through Telford carrying a 'coffin' and dressed in mourners' black today to protest what they say are the Government's failings to deal with the climate and ecological emergency.

The protesters outside Mark Pritchard's constituency office in Wellington

Members of Extinction Rebellion (XR) Telford led a mock funeral procession through Wellington to the constituency office of Mark Pritchard, MP for the Wrekin, to deliver an open letter calling on him to speak out on the Committee on Climate Change's (CCC) annual report to Parliament, released today.

It spoke about the government's "inadequate" progress on meeting its target of achieving zero carbon emissions by 2050.

An XR Telford spokesperson said: "The scientific evidence is absolutely clear: aiming for zero carbon emissions by 2050 is far too late to avert catastrophic global heating which will cause crises much, much worse than Covid-19 and its subsequent recession.

"The UK government already pledged measures for reducing emissions but in fact they have increased. And today's report clearly illustrates that we are off target to meet even the government's own pretty feeble target.

"Therefore we are calling on both Telford and Wrekin MPs to publicly speak out on the government’s failings to deal with the climate and ecological emergency."

'We are not making adequate progress'

An extract from the CCC report said: "Net Zero has been adopted as a key goal of the Government, and the Prime Minister is chairing a Cabinet committee to deliver it. There were important new announcements on transport, buildings, industry, energy supply, agriculture and land use.

"But these steps do not yet measure up to meet the size of the Net Zero challenge and we are not making adequate progress in preparing for climate change."

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It also said: "The UK Government has instigated a Cabinet Committee on Climate Change, chaired by the Prime Minister, as we recommended last year. However, it did not meet until March this year, five months after its creation.

"The Cabinet Committee should meet regularly (e.g. monthly) and report transparently against its goals 'to hold departments to account for their actions to combat climate change' (which should include adaptation actions) and to 'coordinate' the net-zero strategy."

It also said the UK's credibility is "on the line" ahead of a crucial international summit next year.

"Strong domestic action will provide the basis for the UK Government’s vital international leadership in the coming year as it takes on the presidency of the COP26 climate summit in 2021," it says.

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"The UK’s international credibility is on the line. The much-anticipated climate conference will be a major test of global cooperation as the world seeks to recover from Covid-19. With strong climate action taking place here at home, the UK will be well placed to guide that global response. "

To see the report in full, visit bit.ly/2Z9D2eh.

Mark Pritchard responded by saying he supported the notion that more action was needed, and welcomed XR to join his own campaign against over-development on Shropshire's green belts.

He said: "There is common agreement across the political divide that more action needs to be taken to reduce climate change. As an environmentalist, I agree with that challenge.

"Given XR activists care about the planet, I'm surprised they haven't joined my campaign to save the pristine green belt in Tong and other areas in the county.

"They are welcome to do so, at any time, as long as their actions are always lawful and peaceful."

Rob Smith

By Rob Smith
Reporter

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based at Ketley in Telford.

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