Eighteen climate activists involved in non-violent protests to stand trial next week

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https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/eighteen-climate-activists-involved-nonviolent-action-go-trial-next-week

Insulate Britain activists block a road during a protest Photo: Insulate Britain

TRIALS of 18 climate activists who participated in non-violent action are set to begin next week as the government enforces authoritarian laws curbing the right to protest.

Five Extinction Rebellion activists are accused of causing criminal damage to the European headquarters of the half-a trillion-dollar financial firm JP Morgan, during a protest in September 2021 against its funding of fossil fuel firms.

Eight Insulate Britain supporters are accused of causing public nuisance by peacefully stopping traffic on the M25 motorway in the same month to press the government to insulate Britain’s homes to end fuel poverty and cut carbon emissions.

And five Just Stop Oil supporters face trial for alleged conspiracy to cause a public nuisance after they they occupied tunnels close to Grays oil terminal in August 2022 in pursuit for their demand for a halt to all new oil, coal and gas projects.

The trials coincide with fresh government attempts to undermine trials by jury.

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/eighteen-climate-activists-involved-nonviolent-action-go-trial-next-week

Continue ReadingEighteen climate activists involved in non-violent protests to stand trial next week

Greta Thunberg joins protest against Farnborough Airport expansion to demand ban on private jets

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Climate activist Greta Thunberg is joining local residents, Extinction Rebellion activists and climate change campaigners outside Farnborough Airport today (27 January) to protest against plans to increase private jet flights from 50,000 to 70,000 a year. The protesters are also calling for a total ban on private jets, which are up to 30 times more polluting than passenger airliners.

Greta Thunberg said: “The fact that using private jets is both legally and socially allowed today in an escalating climate emergency is completely detached from reality.

“There are few examples that show as clearly how the rich elite is sacrificing present and future living conditions on this planet so they can maintain their extreme and violent lifestyles.”

Hundreds of protestors will gather in Farnborough town centre at 11am today to march alongside Thunberg to Farnborough Airport, setting off pink smoke flares and waving banners proclaiming ‘Flying to Extinction’, ‘Stop Private Flights Now’, ‘No to Airport Expansion’ and ‘Private Flights = Public Deaths’.

This is the latest in a series of protests against the airport’s planning application, which seeks to more than double weekend flights and boost the use of heavier, more polluting private jets. In 2022, there were 33,120 flights to and from the airport, a 27% increase  compared to 2021’s total of 26,007. Flights to and from Farnborough  averaged just 2.5 passengers per flight. Currently 40% of flights to and from the airport are empty, according to research by campaign group Possible. Despite claiming the majority of flights are for business use, the research showed that most Farnborough flights are headed to holiday destinations. Last September a ‘pets on jets’ service launched to fly dogs and their owners from Dubai to Farnborough and back.

Todd Smith, former airline pilot and Extinction Rebellion spokesperson, said: “Flying is the fastest way to fry the planet, and private jets are the most polluting way to fly. Surely it’s a no brainer to ban private jets and stop expanding these luxury airports in the midst of a climate crisis? Survey after survey, as well as several citizens’ assemblies have shown this would be very popular and has widespread support from the general public.

“For most people, life has become more difficult. The cost of heating our homes, buying food and paying our bills has increased massively. So imagine looking out our windows to see yet more private jets flying billionaires around.

“Is this a fair society that we live in, or is there one set of rules for the majority, and another for the elites? Plans to expand the UK’s largest private jet airport seem to make this clear.”

Godalming resident Chris Neill, 67, a retired psychotherapist, said: “We’re in a global climate and ecological emergency. We need to reduce carbon emissions fast and there’s no realistic plan for taking the carbon out of jet fuel. Until there is, we need to fly much less, not more.

“This plan to expand a luxury airport used exclusively by very wealthy people at a time when ordinary people are struggling to manage everyday life is reckless, stupid and selfish. We need a government which has the courage to stop this.”

Continue ReadingGreta Thunberg joins protest against Farnborough Airport expansion to demand ban on private jets

George Monbiot: Just stop oil

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George Monbiot actually says “Leave fossil fuels in the ground” rather than just stop oil. It means the same.

We need people to get involved to prevent the hugely rich and powerful fossil fuel companies from destroying out planet any more. Please find a local or national group to get involved with. As the very minimum measure I want you to sign up and read their newsletter.

Just Stop Oil newsletter

Extinction Rebellion UK newsletter

Climate activists from This Is Rigged targeting the case holding the Wallace sword at the National Wallace Monument. Photo: @thisis.rigged on Instagram.
Climate activists from This Is Rigged targeting the case holding the Wallace sword at the National Wallace Monument. Photo: @thisis.rigged on Instagram.
Continue ReadingGeorge Monbiot: Just stop oil

Extinction Rebellion NL close A10 Amsterdam ring road in protest at ING bank support for fossil fuels

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https://nltimes.nl/2023/12/30/extinction-rebellion-go-forward-banned-a10-blockade-ing-today

[Extinction Rebellion NL] are demanding that the bank stop providing financing and services for the fossil fuel industry. ING was based in the building near the planned blockade until 2014. Due to its unusual shape, it has nicknames alluding to its similarities to a boot, a shoe, an ice skate and a hairdryer. As such, it is somewhat of a landmark that is easily visible from the A10, and why XR believes it is the best place for the demonstration.

Amsterdam Mayor Femke Halsema has forbidden the blockade. The city indicated that the motorway is “irresponsible” as a demonstration location. The A10 is five driving lanes wide, and the speed limit is around 100 kilometers an hour. The VU Medical Center is nearby, and therefore, it is an essential route for ambulances. Traffic to and from the rest of Noord-Holland also passes through the road, which could lead to long traffic jams.

ING also announced last week that they will stop financing oil and gas projects by 2040. The climate activist group believes the commitments are “insufficient” to “secure a livable future.”

Extinction Rebellion NL blocked the A12 motorway at the Hague succeeding in it’s demand that NL government stops providing fossil fuel subsidies. Extinction Rebellion NL blocked the A12 daily for 27 days despite being subjected to water cannon by the police. [see Extinction Rebellion pauses daily A12 highway blockades; Hague mayor relieved and MP majority in favor of potential phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies].

Continue ReadingExtinction Rebellion NL close A10 Amsterdam ring road in protest at ING bank support for fossil fuels

Strong outcome to end of the fossil fuel era backed by large majority of UNFCCC Parties

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Scientists protest climate inaction 25 November 2022
Scientists protest climate inaction 25 November 2022

Dubai, UAE – Analysis released today by the Pacific Islands Climate Action Network (PICAN) and Oil Change International confirms that:

  • At least 127 countries have called for or endorsed a decision to phaseout fossil fuels at this year’s UN climate negotiations
  • These countries account for 71.7% of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and represent 46.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions and 69.7% of global GDP

By comparison, at last year’s UN climate negotiations, 80 countries called for a phaseout or phase down of fossil fuels – and that call was limited to only the electricity sector. This analysis confirms that there is now unprecedented momentum to phaseout all fossil fuels.

Of those countries that have not yet endorsed phasing out fossil fuels, very few have actively opposed. Almost all the remaining countries would likely agree to phaseout fossil fuels if this was tied to financial support, coupled with a successful outcome on adaptation, and differentiated developed and developing countries.

Lavetanalagi Seru, Regional Coordinator for the Pacific Islands Climate Action Network, said: 

“A call that originated in the Pacific has now become an unstoppable global force. Pacific nations were the first to call for an end to fossil fuel expansion and a just and complete phaseout of fossil fuels, as a matter of vital necessity, to guarantee our collective survival. Now, we urge countries present at COP28 to heed this call and deliver an agreement on the end of the fossil fuel era. A small minority of blockers cannot be allowed to jeopardize the future of our nations”.

Romain Ioualalen, Global Policy manager for Oil Change International, said:

“There is unprecedented people-powered momentum – supported by 127 countries – for a historic agreement on fossil fuel phaseout at COP28 to finally tackle the root cause of the climate crisis: oil, gas, and coal. The opposition comes from two groups. First, a small group of rich and powerful governments and companies are trying to prolong the fossil fuel economy, as illustrated by a letter sent by OPEC to OPEC member countries encouraging them to reject any language on fossil fuel phaseout. Second, there are developing countries who would agree to phaseout fossil fuels if wealthy nations provided real assurances of finance and support, unlocked a meaningful outcome on adaptation, and agreed to act first and fastest to phase out fossil fuels. 

“We must call out the fossil fuel lobby’s lies, and push wealthy nations to hear developing states’ demands for equity and justice. 2023 can still be the year where countries commit to phaseout fossil fuels. As the negotiations heat up in their final hours, countries’ actions must match their words. There is no time to waste. We need action commensurate with the scientific consensus: a full, fast, fair, funded phaseout of fossil fuels.” 

Scientists protest at UK Parliament 5 September 2023.
Scientists protest at UK Parliament 5 September 2023.
Just Stop Oil protesting in London 6 December 2022.
Just Stop Oil protesting in London 6 December 2022.
Morgan Trowland and Marcus Decker protest and close the M25 Dartford Bridge.
Morgan Trowland and Marcus Decker protest and close the M25 Dartford Bridge.
Continue ReadingStrong outcome to end of the fossil fuel era backed by large majority of UNFCCC Parties

More than 1,000 climate scientists urge public to become activists

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Scientists protest at UK Parliament 5 September 2023.
Scientists protest at UK Parliament 5 September 2023.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/dec/04/more-than-1000-climate-scientists-urge-public-to-become-activists

‘We need you,’ says Scientist Rebellion, which includes authors of IPCC reports on climate breakdown, as diplomats meet for Cop28

Wolfgang Cramer’s first involvement with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was in the 90s. He worked on the second assessment report, delivered in 1995, which affirmed the science of anthropogenic climate breakdown. At that point, no one could say they did not know what was happening.

Almost three decades on, Cramer was part of the international scientific team that prepared the sixth IPCC report. Its conclusion, delivered in March, issued human civilisation a bleak “final warning” – the biosphere stands on the brink of irrevocable damage.

Now, as diplomats meet in Dubai for the 28th round of the Cop climate talks, in a year predicted to be the hottest on record, and as carbon emissions continue to rise, Cramer is one of 33 IPCC authors among 1,447 scientists and academics in signing an open letter calling on the public to take collective action to avert climate breakdown.

“We are terrified,” they warn. “We need you.”

“Wherever you are, become a climate advocate or activist,” the letter, published on Monday by Scientist Rebellion, a climate activist group, implores. “Join or start groups pushing for policies that help secure a better future. Contact groups that are active where you are, find out when they meet and attend their meetings.

“If we are to create a liveable future, climate action must move from being something that others do to something that we all do.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/dec/04/more-than-1000-climate-scientists-urge-public-to-become-activists

Continue ReadingMore than 1,000 climate scientists urge public to become activists

COP28 starting today

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Christian rockers Europe ‘The Final Countdown’
Experienced climbers scale a rock face near the historic Dumbarton castle in Glasgow, releasing a banner that reads “Climate on a Cliff Edge.” One activist, dressed as a globe, symbolically looms near the edge, while another plays the bagpipes on the shores below. | Photo courtesy of Extinction Rebellion and Mark Richards
Experienced climbers scale a rock face near the historic Dumbarton castle in Glasgow, releasing a banner that reads “Climate on a Cliff Edge.” One activist, dressed as a globe, symbolically looms near the edge, while another plays the bagpipes on the shores below. | Photo courtesy of Extinction Rebellion and Mark Richards

Extinction Rebellion UK position on COP 28

Five years ago, XR was told that our warnings about the escalation of the climate and ecological emergency were hysterical, exaggerated and scientifically unfounded. It’s now clear that we were right to sound the alarm. There will be groups from all sides telling us that we cannot talk about 2°C yet, that there’s no scientific evidence and that we haven’t seen the global trends — but we must continue to do so. Under the precautionary principle, which makes us put our seatbelts on in case of an accident, it’s vital we up the pressure because the truth is, that even if it was only for one day, even if temperatures will dip again, 2 °C has been breached and the trend is relentlessly upwards.

In this context — in a world that is as bad, if not worse than we predicted five years ago — we are once again seeing world leaders fly, on their private jets [3], to the next Conference of the Parties (COP) on Climate, COP 28. The conference will take place in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates [4], a nation built almost entirely on fossil fuel wealth. COP28 is led by Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber [5], founder and Chair of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) [6]. which has the largest net-zero busting plans in the world [7]. 

At the same time, indigenous people who work tirelessly to defend their lands —  which contain 80% of the world’s remaining biodiversity —  and whose traditional knowledge is key to designing a sustainable future, are excluded from the negotiations [8].

Before it has even begun, it is clear the COP process has been captured by the fossil fuel economy. We are unlikely to see the rapid, just and equitable phaseout of all fossil fuels coming out of this process.

[3] Flight Operations to COP28 Dubai COP28 UAE will take place at Dubai’s Expo City from November 30 – December 12, 2023, with government leaders and dignitaries from all over the globe descending on Dubai for the historic event.
Operations to COP 28 in Dubai
Jetluxe – Your gateway to COP 28

[4] COP 28 UAE:
A visual guide: COP 28 explainer infographic

[5] About Sultan Al Jaber:
i. The Guardian: Meet the oil man tasked with saving the planet
ii. The Guardian: COP 28 host UAE planned promote oil deals climate talks
iii. Letter calling for the dismissal of Al Jaber, from US Congress and EU Parliament Members

[6] Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC)

[7] COP 28 host UAE has world’s biggest climate-busting oil plans.

[8] Lands inhabited by Indigenous Peoples contain 80% of the world’s remaining biodiversity. Indigenous Peoples’ traditional knowledge and knowledge systems are key to designing a sustainable future for all.
i. IISD: Indigenous peoples defending environment
ii. AXIOS: Indigenous activists “seen, not heard” at COP 27iii. The Independent: Fossil fuel delegates attended Cops at least 7,200 times over 20 years – study

https://extinctionrebellion.uk/2023/11/29/extinction-rebellion-uk-position-on-cop-28/

People march through Glasgow, a demonstration led by Fridays for Future. | Photo courtesy of Extinction Rebellion Scotland and Simone Rudolphi
People march through Glasgow, a demonstration led by Fridays for Future. | Photo courtesy of Extinction Rebellion Scotland and Simone Rudolphi
Continue ReadingCOP28 starting today

XR Glues Shut Barclays Across UK for Financing ‘Climate Breakdown’

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Original article by JESSICA CORBETT republished from Common Dreams under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). 

Climate activists glued shut doors at nearly 50 Barclays branches across the United Kingdom on November 27, 2023.  (Photo: Extinction Rebellion)

“The inconvenience we’ve caused this morning is small in comparison to the catastrophic events already happening due to Barclays’ financing of fossil fuels,” said one campaigner.

“We have closed this bank today.”

That’s the opening line on an explanatory poster, plastered on dozens of Barclays branches across the United Kingdom on Monday.

“Barclays has been on the wrong side of history for centuries,” the poster continues. “Financing the Atlantic slave trade, apartheid in South Africa, weapons, and fossil fuels. $190 billion in finance for fossil fuels since 2015. Time to change.”

“Barclays are choosing short-term profits over a livable future and a lot of us are sick of the measly progress they’re making.”

The posters were left overnight by activists with Extinction Rebellion (XR), sister organization Money Rebellion, and allied groups, who superglued the doors shut at nearly 50 branches—inspired by a 2020 Greenpeace action targeting the bank.

“We’re responding to public attitudes and targeting the perpetrators of climate breakdown, not ordinary people, and we apologize for any inconvenience caused to staff and customers,” said an XR campaigner in a statement. “The inconvenience we’ve caused this morning is small in comparison to the catastrophic events already happening due to Barclays’ financing of fossil fuels.”

The climate groups pointed to this year’s annual Banking on Climate Chaos report, which shows that Barclays has poured $190.58 billion into the fossil fuel industry since 2015, when world leaders finalized the Paris agreement. Parties to that deal aim to keep global temperature rise this century “well below” 2°C, with an ultimate goal of limiting it to 1.5°C.

Already, “human activities, principally through emissions of greenhouse gases, have unequivocally caused global warming, with global surface temperature reaching 1.1°C,” relative to preindustrial levels, according to a March Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.

A United Nations analysis published last week ahead of the upcoming COP28 U.N. climate talks projects that currently implemented policies put the world on track for 3°C of warming by 2100.

Responding to the Monday action, a Barclays spokesperson toldITV that “aligned to our ambition to be a net-zero bank by 2050, we believe we can make the greatest difference by working with our clients as they transition to a low-carbon business model, reducing their carbon-intensive activity whilst scaling low-carbon technologies, infrastructure, and capacity.”

“We have set 2030 targets to reduce the emissions we finance in five high emitting sectors, including the energy sector, where we have achieved a 32% reduction since 2020,” the spokesperson added. “In addition, to scale the needed technologies and infrastructure, we have provided £99 billion of green finance since 2018, and have a target to facilitate $1 trillion in sustainable and transition financing between 2023 and 2030.”

Climate campaigners argue that such policies are far from enough, given that the bank continues to finance fossil fuel projects.

“Barclays are pumping billions into the fossil fuel industry, completely at odds with advice from the International Energy Agency, United Nations, and IPCC,” said a Money Rebellion activist who took part in the action. “Barclays are choosing short-term profits over a livable future and a lot of us are sick of the measly progress they’re making, as they hide behind their lies and greenwash.”

Original article by JESSICA CORBETT republished from Common Dreams under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). 

Continue ReadingXR Glues Shut Barclays Across UK for Financing ‘Climate Breakdown’

TELLING THE TRUTH SO WE CAN LEARN FROM MISTAKES – REFLECTIONS FIVE YEARS ON

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Extinction Rebellion co-founders.
Extinction Rebellion co-founders.

October 20, 2023

This letter by Clare Farrell, Gail Bradbrook and Roger Hallam was published on 19th October 2023 on the Extinction Rebellion website – the original can be found here https://rebellion.global/blog/2023/10/19/reflections-5-years-on/

Telling the truth means being ready to accept when you have been led astray, got things wrong and so have to modify your views. Five years since the launch of Extinction Rebellion, this world we live in is changing so dangerously fast that it demands we revisit our assumptions and learn some painful lessons. It is now clear that 2023 is very likely to average more than 1.5 °C above a 1850-1900 baseline. Whilst emissions are still rising world wide. It is only through commitment to the truth that we might help humanity and wider life around as we enter a disturbing new era.

We got something wrong. We were misled. So, we misled you too. Aerosol pollution matters decisively to our global climate. There are other factors deserving of more serious attention such as forest cloud seeding and ocean health. Many factors were sidelined by scientists who were narrowly focusing on CO2. In addition, IPCC processes did not find an adequate way to address issues of extreme risk where data was deemed insufficient or where there was higher uncertainty *, such as aerosols, methane release from permafrost, and feedbacks from wildfires or droughts rendering sinks incapable of sustaining their role in the system. This misled other scientists, academics and activists including us.

Some of us have attempted over the years to responsibly communicate the extreme and cascading risks, and the severe consequences of not taking emergency action. Despite founding the movement on the precautionary principle we found ourselves being ground down. For years we were moderated, and moodsplained by experts from narrow disciplines who demanded we change our press releases, our lectures, and play down the reality and potential speed of catastrophic consequences. As we pass into the horrors of a 1.5 °C plus world, at least 10 years earlier than the worst official expectations, we realise we should have made a firmer stand. As we observe some top climatologists claiming we need to wait decades before accepting that the planet is 1.5 °C warmer, we also realise that silence about our disagreements is no longer an option for us, or the climate movement.

Understanding how this repression happened is important. We would welcome any career climatologists, academics and journalists who undermined our communications in public to make amends, especially as they have influenced attitudes amongst those who judge us. But more importantly, for the sake of life on Earth we must tackle this emergency with our eyes wide open to everything that we need to do from this point forward. The rapid heating and extreme events of the last year demonstrate that overall predictions of institutionalised climate science were less accurate than the conclusions of generalist scholars and leading climate activists, who better saw the frightening signals through the noise produced from siloes, hierarchies, and privilege. Notably, economists, politicians and consultants pulled the conversation in the opposite direction to what was needed. Because these people carry an identity associated with ‘authority’ they were not challenged enough by journalists, lay people, or activists.

XR was always about responding to the whole ecological emergency, not just the climate. We need to bring this back to the fore, as much for the climate as for nature. We need to prioritise preserving and growing forest cover, learning how to restore the oceans’ role in atmospheric modulation, experimenting with marine cloud brightening in the Arctic and exploring every option for climate restoration and cooling, and even consider reversing recent shipping fuel regulations if they are causing an aerosol ‘termination shock’. And at the same time we must reject the lie that high consumption societies do not need to power down equitably, with the rich going first. We waste vast amounts of energy, which is unspeakable in these circumstances. The rallying cry from here on is that we Must Stop Oil, end the fossil fuel era, and we must also urgently start the repair of Planet Earth, our only home.

We are entering a new era for humanity and the prospects are terrifying. We committed five years ago in October 2018 to live in truth. Our movements need to look directly at that truth and act according to reality. That means being in resistance, standing for peace, justice and freedom.

Signed: Clare Farrell, Gail Bradbrook, Roger Hallam.

October 2023

*A footnote in the IPCC AR6 SPM: “Warming levels >4 °C may result from very high emissions scenarios, but can also occur from lower emission scenarios if climate sensitivity or carbon cycle feedbacks are higher than the best estimate. {3.1.1}”

Continue ReadingTELLING THE TRUTH SO WE CAN LEARN FROM MISTAKES – REFLECTIONS FIVE YEARS ON