Friday, 03 July 2020
CLIMATE change campaigners are to hold a demonstration in Henley on Thursday.
Extinction Rebellion Henley are pressing Henley MP John Howell and the Government for a green covid-19 recovery plan as part of a nationwide day of action.
The local group is planning to stage a peaceful, socially distanced demonstration in Falaise Square from 6pm to 7pm.
The Committee on Climate Change will publish its 2020 progress report to Parliament on the same day. This says the UK is failing in its commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
Kate Oldridge, XR Henley co-ordinator, said: “The Committee on Climate Change is going to be saying that the Government’s actions fall way short on what is necessary to meet its own legally-binding target to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
“What we’re saying is 2050 is too late, we need to get there way before. We need to take action now.”
Extinction Rebellion wants a government-back citizens’ assembly to find solutions.
Mrs Oldridge said: “What we’re saying is you need to bring experts in to work out what this new world will look like.
“We want as many people as possible to lobby their MP to ask for a green recovery plan.
“If we revert to business as usual we’re looking at a very bleak future. The climate emergency and ecological emergency has the ability to cause such devastation around the world so me must take this opportunity now because we have an opportunity to reframe a ‘new normal’.”
Organisers of the protest emphasise that those attending should wear masks, bring hand sanitiser and adhere to social distancing guidelines of 2m. They can bring placards.
People should not attend if they, or anyone in their household, has symptoms of covid-19.
A group of young people, who are in the process of setting up a youth climate group, will be attending.
A poll will be run on social media to work out what time people are planning to attend so there isn’t a peak of people at a particular time that would jeopardise social distancing guidelines.
Mr Howell said: “Extinction Rebellion are falling into the trap of seeing social distancing as the only part of the Government’s coronavirus regulations they need to comply with. These also prohibit mass gatherings.
“I shall be in Parliament. I am as keen as anyone to see that we reach net zero by 2050, which I do not believe is too late.”
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/xrhenley
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