“No New Runways” message clear at “Going Backwards on Climate” march
The Campaign Against Climate Change organised a dramatic protest, with a difference. Marking the first year of the Conservative government being in power, it has gone backwards on climate. So several hundred protesters assembled in Trafalgar Square, and proceeded to march backwards, down Whitehall, to show where the government has been backtracking on climate. The protesters stopped at various key locations, to hear speeches about particular issues. There was a strong aviation presence on the protest, with a “No New Runway” message. For the government to build a new runway, hugely increasing UK aviation CO2 emissions, means a serious likelihood of the UK missing carbon targets. Adding a runway is going backwards on climate policy. Outside Downing Street, Sheila Menon (one of the Heathrow 13) spoke about the need to oppose a new runway, at Heathrow or at Gatwick, because of the increase in carbon emissions it would generate. She said this is not merely a UK problem, and there is opposition to airport and runway building in many other countries, with the campaigns linked up. Other stops on the backwards march focused on renewable energy, fracking, and increasing air pollution.
Some photos from the protest:
Crowd gathering in Trafalgar Square, before walking – backwards – down Whitehall
Says it all ….
A new runway – a giant step backwards for UK climate policy. #nonewrunways
“No New Runways” plane from the CHATR (Chiswick Against Third Runway) campaign
New runway means worse air pollution, as well as more carbon emissions
Marching – backwards – down Whitehall
A new runway = giant step backwards for UK climate policy
Sheila Menon, one of the Heathrow 13, speaking opposite Downing Street
Cameron and Osborne – reversing humanity’s progress, “Go Back! We wrecked UK climate policy”
Details of the protest from the Campaign Against Climate Change
No more UK backtracking on climate! (Organised by the Campaign Against Climate Change)
Since May 2015 clean energy technology has been sidelined in favour of a dash for gas, insulation cut and fracking, roads and runways pushed through despite strong local opposition. So what better way to mark the government’s one year anniversary than to march – backwards – down Whitehall? A creative and colourful protest that will make a serious point: we’re running out of time to act on climate change, and we can’t afford to go backwards.
There will be an aviation block, with a “No New Runways” plane.
12.00 Gather under Nelson’s Column, moving to King Charles statue, top of Whitehall
12.25 Hear from those directly impacted by flooding in the UK, including the family of seven-year-old Zane, tragically killed by toxic gas released from a flooded landfill site
12.45 Dismantling of our renewables industry! Find out what this means for jobs and community energy (speakers from Solar Trade Association and a London community energy project) (Corner of Whitehall Place)
12.50 Fracking: bad news for the climate (with support from Talk Fracking and young activists and their families from Lancashire)
1.05 Outside Downing Street, activists from Plane Stupid and HACAN will be reminding David Cameron of his personal pledge ‘No ifs, no buts, no third runway’ with crowd participation.
1.20 Unsustainable transport means we are breathing unsafe air! Families supporting ClientEarth’s legal action illustrate what this means for them (Opposite the Department of Health)
1.25 Cuts to warm home funding are wrecking lives and wrecking the climate. Hear from Fuel Poverty Action
1.40 At the Treasury entrance on King Charles Street, we end up at George Osborne’s department – responsible for so many of the ‘backwards steps’. Presentation of fossil fuel subsidies and messages from opencast coal campaigning in Wales.
Finally a positive message – it’s Time to Go Forwards! Speakers including Natalie Bennett and Asad Rehman with a send off from the Time to Cycle crew.