December 4, 2020
From Extinction Rebellion (UK)
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Many will herald today’s announcement as reason to celebrate how far we’ve come. But the reality is, these empty promises from a government totally out of its depth, are the very definition of greenwashing. With COP26 in Glasgow 12 months away, the UK Government is determined to reassure the world that they have everything in hand. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. 

We, the electorate, are being played. The Government has shown no signs of working towards their 2050 targets, with their own climate advisors, the Committee on Climate Change, reporting in June that only four of the 21 indicators on track and two of 31 milestones have been reached on the road to net zero emissions. [1] A report released today by the National Audit Office, who track government spending, also found that the Government is predicted to fail to meet its existing targets to reduce emissions in the period from 2023 to 2032. [2] 

These gradual, inadequate steps in the right direction are simply an excuse to keep people quiet. A look at where the money’s going reveals how seriously they’re taking the climate and ecological emergency.

The extra £4 billion [3] of new money to tackle the climate crisis announced by the Government last week compares to:

  • £27 billion they confirmed in August for investment in the road network [4]
  • More than £100 billion for HS2 [5]
  • £16.5 billion that was announced the following day in increases for military spending [6]
  • £1billion in export finance in July for a new gas project in Mozambique [7]

Extinction Rebellion Spokesperson, Clare Farrell, said: “Who knew Boris was speaking literally when he said he was going to get the UK ‘oven ready’.” 

“On a more serious note, why should we expect them to meet these new targets? Targets are meaningless if they never intend on reaching them. This is not a serious plan if you are a young person or live in the Global South. That’s exactly why a group of young people with family in Africa, the Caribbean and South America, along with climate litigation charity Plan B, are suing the Government. [8]” 

Over in New Zealand Jacinda Adern respects her climate advisors and follows intelligent, evidence based approaches, announcing on Wednesday that the country would have a carbon neutral government by 2025. [9] We know how New Zealand’s approach worked out with Covid, the UK should take a leaf out of their book on climate too.”

Notes to editors

[1] Reducing UK emissions: 2020 Progress Report to Parliament: https://www.theccc.org.uk/publication/reducing-uk-emissions-2020-progress-report-to-parliament/

[2] Achieving net zero:

[3] Just £4bn of new money for Boris Johnson’s climate emergency plan, Cabinet minister admits: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/boris-johnson-climate-plan-funding-b1724760.html

[4] Chancellor announces £27bn for roadbuilding in budget: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/mar/11/chancellor-announces-27bn-for-roadbuilding-in-budget

[5] HS2 costs could hit £106bn, warns official review: https://www.ft.com/content/307e3606-3ab7-11ea-a01a-bae547046735

[6] Boris Johnson to announce £16.5bn military spending spree: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/boris-johnson-uk-defence-spending-increase-military-b1725374.html

[7] UK could face lawsuit over $1bn aid to Mozambique gas project https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/jul/20/uk-could-face-lawsuit-over-1bn-aid-to-mozambique-gas-project

[8] Young People v UK Government: Where’s the Emergency Plan?https://planb.earth/plan-b-v-government-bailouts-for-polluters/

[9] New Zealand declares a climate change emergency: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/02/new-zealand-declares-a-climate-change-emergency

ABOUT EXTINCTION REBELLION

Time has almost entirely run out to address the ecological crisis which is upon us, including the 6th mass species extinction, global pollution, and increasingly rapid climate change. If urgent and radical action isn’t taken, we’re heading towards 4˚C warming, and the societal collapse and mass loss of life that that implies. The younger generation, racially marginalised communities and the Global South are on the front-line. No-one will escape the devastating impacts.

Extinction Rebellion believes it is a citizen’s duty to rebel, using peaceful civil disobedience, when faced with criminal inactivity by their Government.

Extinction Rebellion’s key demands are:

  1. Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
  2. Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
  3. Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.

What Emergency? | Extinction Rebellion in Numbers |This Is Not A Drill: An Extinction Rebellion Handbook 

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About Rising Up!

Extinction Rebellion emerged from the Rising Up! network, which promotes a fundamental change of our political and economic system to one which maximises well-being and minimises harm. Change needs to be nurtured in a culture of reverence, gratitude and inclusion while the tools of civil disobedience and direct action are used to express our collective power.




Source: Extinctionrebellion.uk