In Rochdale By-Election, Climate Policy is Also on the Ballot

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A long article discussing the Rochdale by-election that has only one candidate – Mark Coleman – promoting green policies and many opposed.

[12.50 correction.] A long article discussing the Rochdale by-election. Independent Mark Coleman and Lib-Dem Iain Donaldson are the only candidates promoting green policies with many opposed. Monster Raving Loony Party appears absent prom this list of candidates.

Original article by Adam Barnett republished from DeSmog.

Fomer Labour MPs Simon Danczuk and George Galloway are standing in the Rochdale by-election on February 29. Credit: PA images / Alamy stock photos

From attacks on “eco-madness” and accusations of a “Net Zero Hoax”, here’s our climate guide to the MPs contesting Labour’s seat.

Amid February’s record-breaking temperatures, climate is emerging as a battleground – and faultline – between the UK’s two biggest political parties in the run up to the next general election.

In the past weeks, the Labour Party has dramatically scaled back its £28 billion green investment plans, while the Conservative government has committed to annual licensing rounds in the North Sea in a new oil and gas bill.

This legislation saw former green Conservative Chris Skidmore MP resign in protest in January, triggering last week’s by-election in Kingswood, which Labour won. 

Wrangling between the Tories and Labour has also opened the door for fringe political activists. Parties such as Reform UK have exploited mixed messaging over climate policy, which the UN authority on climate science, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, says is essential to secure “to secure a liveable and sustainable future for all”. 

Next Thursday (February 29), voters in the Greater Manchester seat of Rochdale will go to the polls in a by-election triggered by the death of Labour MP Tony Lloyd. 

The campaign has been overshadowed by the sacking of the frontrunner candidate, Azhar Ali, who was dropped by Labour over his controversial comments about the October 7 Hamas attacks. It is too late for Labour to field another candidate, and Ali will now run as an independent. 

Green Party candidate Guy Otten was also dropped over past statements on Islam and Palestinians. Otten will appear on the ballot paper, but has abstained from campaigning.

The rows have given more airtime to several fringe parties fielding candidates strongly opposed to climate action. 

Simon Danczuk, who is standing for Reform UK, and George Galloway, the candidate for the Workers Party of Britain, have both repeatedly attacked the UK’s legally binding net zero targets, while Galloway has spread climate misinformation and backed new fossil fuel extraction.

Read on to find out all you need to know on where the candidates stand on net zero and climate policy. 

Simon Danczuk – Reform UK 

This month Danczuk announced he had joined Reform UK. Danczuk was the  MP for Rochdale between 2010 and 2017. He is seeking a return to the constituency following his expulsion from the Labour Party in 2015 after sending sexually explicit messages to a 17-year-old (he served as an independent until 2017). 

As an MP, Danczuk voted for measures to prevent climate change, and in 2015 shared an article on Twitter criticising climate denial in the Daily Mail. However, Danczuk’s views appear to have changed. 

Last June he wrote an article attacking the “eco-madness” of Labour’s (now scaled back) green investment plans and its pledge not to approve new oil and gas projects. He wrote that Labour “see implementing a green ideology as more important than jobs, security and sustaining the economy”. 

The article was published in Spiked, an online “libertarian” outlet which has a record of climate science denial and fossil fuel-linked funding. Between 2015 and 2018, Spiked received $300,000  from the Charles Koch Foundation, an arm of oil giant Koch Industries and a major funder of climate denial.

Danczuk repeated the “green ideology” argument in an interview with the fringe right-wing outlet Epoch Times, stating: “The idea of banning gas and oil exploration in the North Sea, before we’ve got alternatives in place, is just absolute madness.” 

In September 2023, Danczuk publicly voiced support for the Conservative government’s net zero U-turns, telling TalkTV that voters “are very despondent about these targets” and that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had “called it right”. TalkTV has its own record of spreading climate denial, and until last year employed Reform leader Richard Tice as a presenter. 

Reform is campaigning to “scrap all of net zero” and received £135,000 in donations from climate deniers and fossil fuel interests in 2023. Tice has said “CO2 isn’t poison, it’s plant food”, while the party’s London mayoral candidate Howard Cox has said “man is not responsible for global warming”.

George Galloway – Workers Party of Britain

Another ex-Labour Party MP, George Galloway, is standing for the Workers Party of Britain, a party he founded after the 2019 general election. Galloway was expelled from Labour in 2003 for “bringing the party into disrepute” after a party tribunal found he had “incited Arabs to fight British troops” and “incited British troops to defy orders”. He has since been elected to parliament twice – in 2005 for his Respect party and 2012 as an independent – each time serving one term. 

The Workers Party of Britain, calls itself a socialist party that “defend[s] the achievements of the USSR, China, Cuba etc”.

The party is hostile to climate policies. Its website calls for “a much clearer debate on Net Zero” and argues that “a halt must also be made to the attempt to make working people pay for subsidies for large-scale green industrialisation”. 

Last July the party called for a Brexit-style referendum on net zero, a policy originally pushed by the right-wing Reform UK and led by its honorary president Nigel Farage. (Galloway and Farage have worked together in the past as part of the Aaron Banks-funded ‘Grassroots Out’ campaign for Brexit.)

Galloway has attacked net zero targets, advocated for clean coal extraction and spread misinformation about climate change.

In December, Galloway called for a net zero referendum in a post on the social media platform X. On his YouTube talk show in August 2022, Galloway spread the false claim that people would be forced to “eat insects” to tackle climate change, adding, “I think this net zero is one of the biggest hoaxes in modern politics.” He then took a swipe at climate activist Greta Thunberg, a regular target for climate deniers, calling net zero “a 14-year old schoolgirl leading grown men and women up the garden path.”

The following month, he again dismissed climate warnings from activists like Thunberg, arguing that the main climate risk came from NATO and the “military industrial complex”. He said: “We are facing climate catastrophe; not man made the likes of Greta Thunberg talks about, but through our own governments.”   

Galloway has also called for more fossil fuel extraction. In an X post in March 2022, a month after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Galloway wrote: “Britain needs to ice its [Net] Zero fantasy, step up its oil exploitation [and] invest in peaceful nuclear energy and seek to re-harvest the 1,000 years of coal under our feet employing clean-coal technology. Our Energy policy is hopelessly unbalanced.”

From 2008 to 2013, Galloway worked as a presenter for Press TV, the English-language channel run by the Iranian government. From 2013 to 2015 Galloway was paid £100,000 to present a show on RT (Russia Today), Russia’s equivalent. Both countries are major oil and gas producers. The channels have since had their broadcasting licences revoked by Ofcom for breaking its rules (Galloway’s broadcasts were not referenced in the ruling). 

Paul Ellison – Conservative Party

Little is known about the climate views of Conservative candidate Paul Ellison, who has been dubbed “Mr Rochdale” in the local press.

According to a favourable profile in Rochdale Online, Ellison has been active in the local community protecting green spaces, and is credited with winning Rochdale recognition by the Royal Horticultural Society In Bloom awards. 

He does not appear to have commented publicly about climate change. 

Azhar Ali – Independent (formerly Labour Party)

Newly independent candidate Azhar Ali criticised the government’s U-turns on net zero in September, accusing the Prime Minister of “playing to the climate change deniers in his own party”. 

He doesn’t appear to have commented publicly about Labour’s weakening of its own net zero plans. Earlier this month, the party dropped its pledge to invest £28 billion per year in green measures, cutting its spending plans by 75 percent to £23.7 billion in total. Labour says it will still  keep to its target to decarbonise the UK’s power grid by 2030.

The party opposes new North Sea exploration, but supports unproven carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology on existing rigs. Earlier this month, Labour leader Keir Starmer said current pipelines would “continue for decades”. 

In October 2016, Ali attacked plans to introduce fracking for shale gas in Lancashire, saying on Twitter (now X): “Conservative government gives green light to the ‘rape’ of our environment.”

Iain Donaldson – Liberal Democrats

Lib Dem candidate Iain Donaldson has said he wants to hold the government to account on “water companies polluting the rivers with filthy sewage”, among other issues. In a 2017 tweet he criticised the then U.S. President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement. 

Donaldson was one of eleven of the party’s 15 MPs who voted against the Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill this week, while four abstained. The Liberal Democrats propose moving the net zero target forward five years to 2045 and support large investments in renewable energy.

A Liberal Democrat spokesperson said Donaldson had opposed the oil and gas bill, which “fails to take vital steps to grow the UK renewable energy sector and reduce energy bills, and fails to form a coherent path to net zero”.

“Iain wants to see the de facto moratorium on onshore wind farms lifted,” they added, “and allow the expansion of the cheapest form of energy to drive down bills in this cost of living crisis, and reduce our emissions helping to slow climate change.”

Mark Coleman – Independent

After dropping its own candidate, the Green Party has urged its members to back Reverend Mark Coleman, who has put climate at the forefront of his campaign.

Twice arrested for climate protest, Coleman was sentenced in April 2023 to five and half weeks in prison for blocking the M25 and other roads with campaign group Insulate Britain. 

Just Stop Oil has also asked its supporters to back Coleman. In a statement, the climate protest group said he is “the only candidate in the Rochdale by-election worth voting for”.

In a campaign blurb for local news outlet Rochdale Online, Coleman calls for “radical action on climate right now to stand any chance of a safe and stable future”. 

All candidates named in this article were contacted for comment.

 Additional reporting by Phoebe Cooke.

Original article by Adam Barnett republished from DeSmog.

Continue ReadingIn Rochdale By-Election, Climate Policy is Also on the Ballot

Chris Packham gives witness testimony at Just Stop Oil crown court case

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George Monbiot: “Leave fossil fuels in the ground”

TV presenter and naturalist Chris Packham testified at the crown court trial of Just Stop Oil supporter, Cressie Gethin. 14th February was the eighth day of Cressie’s trial for Public Nuisance. She is appearing at Isleworth Crown Court, appearing before Judge Duncan. Cressie, 22, a music student from Hereford, faces up to ten years in prison if found guilty. 

Cressie climbed a motorway gantry above the M25 on the 20th July 2022, two days after the governments’ net zero strategy was declared unlawful, and one day after the UK recorded it’s highest ever temperature of 40.3 degrees celsius, a milestone that scientists previously thought was impossible.

Cressie Gethin testified: On 20th July 2022, I climbed up onto a gantry over the M25. I hung up two banners – one said ‘Just Stop Oil’ (the campaign in whose name I was taking action) and the other said ‘40 Degrees”’ (this was a day after the 40C heatwave scorched the UK, burnt down houses and left people dead).

The prosecution have said that my intention was clearly to stop the traffic. However, it is under oath that I say I was not expecting the police to close the entire motorway. I thought it was possible they may decide to close one or two lanes, or perhaps slow the speed of the traffic, but I was very surprised when they closed the whole thing. I was surprised because I was conducting a nonviolent, peaceful protest, the intention of which was to gain media attention and create public pressure on the government to stop new oil and gas.

When the police did close the motorway, I did not immediately come down – you saw that in the footage. As I said, my intention was to get media attention and I realised that the road closure would be attracting more press coverage and therefore more pressure on the government to take steps to protect its own citizens.

I will also address the matter of delays at Heathrow. Whilst this may sound unbelievable, I did not realise that the stretch of motorway I was on led to Heathrow – as I say, this may sound ridiculous, but I am telling the truth under oath.

Because I am bound to the truth, I will also say that, despite not being aware of the location at the time, I do not think that near Heathrow was an inappropriate place to conduct this protest, given that it was there that 40.2C was first recorded the day before, and because of the relevance of air travel to the message I was trying to get heard.

The 20th July was deliberately chosen to be when the temperature was less dangerous and the Met Office’s extreme heat warnings had been lifted. This was in order to remove any risks linked to heat and dehydration for myself and for any members of the public who were in their cars for longer than anticipated.

I also took safety precautions that minimised any risk to myself or to drivers on the motorway. I ensured that there was at least one point of attachment between the gantry structure and the banners at all times. I also wore a safety harness so that I was attached to the gantry at all times. This gantry was enclosed and felt safe (it is designed for human access and is essentially a footbridge with enclosed sides) – but I took this precaution to make sure I was being as safe and conscientious as possible.

I want to make it clear that in no way did I feel a sense of glee or “yes, I’ve won” when the police closed the road. I understood that by closing the road the police would be having to manage traffic that would have otherwise come down that stretch of the motorway, and that didn’t and doesn’t sit easy with me. The reason I didn’t come down goes back to my original intention to get the attention of the media and public, and ultimately, to address rather than ignore injustice and suffering.

There was a moral dilemma involved in taking this action. I knew there was a possibility that the action would impact some people – that is the nature of visible and attention-grabbing protest. I had to weigh this, which doesn’t sit easy with me, against my sincere desire to protect lives. As I said at the beginning, my overall intentions were and still are to create pressure on the government to writing [righting?] policies that are killing people around the world.

Chris Packham and Cressie Gethin at Iselworth Crown Court. Image: Just Stop Oil

Part of Chris Packham’s testimony:

Prosecution: 26 flights were cancelled.

Chris Packham: As I recall Heathrow was under stress and it had already capped the amount of flights that could leave.

Prosecution: There were over 3000 people impacted, 26 flights delayed and 19 flights cancelled. Do you agree that these people were seriously inconvenienced and seriously annoyed?

Chris Packham: I don’t. It would be difficult for you to apply all of this to Cressie Gethin.

Prosecution: [something about “her” cause]

Chris Packham: It’s not “her” cause – it’s the cause.

Chris Packham: I support the need to raise the alarm on the most serious issue that threatens life and threatens us.

The trial continues.

[sourced from 2 Just Stop Oil press releases]

Continue ReadingChris Packham gives witness testimony at Just Stop Oil crown court case

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

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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.

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

Priest, 73, among climate activists made to wear GPS tags for years

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Original article by Anita Mureithi republished from Open Democracy under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International licence.

Just Stop Oil member Tim Hewes has to lead church services with an ankle tag on – despite not yet having faced trial

The 73-year-old priest has long taken part in direct action with other campaign groups including Insulate Britain, Extinction Rebellion and Christian Climate Action calling for climate justice  | Mark Kerrison/In Pictures via Getty Images

A 73-year-old priest accused of helping plan a climate protest on the M25 has been forced to lead church services while wearing a GPS ankle tag for two years.

Tim Hewes, from Oxfordshire, is among at least ten members of Just Stop Oil who were given the tags despite not having been convicted of a crime. Hewes, who previously sewed his lips shut outside a newspaper office, is also barred from going on the M25 or taking part in any actions to oppose the climate crisis.

On one occasion, Hewes said he was thrown into the back of a police van and locked up overnight after being accused of breaking his bail conditions because his ankle monitor failed to charge. He says the tag was faulty and he was released once the court realised.

“Now if there’s a knock at the door, I think, well, it’s either the tag team or the police,” he told openDemocracy.

“The difficulty with the GPS is that, although I don’t have a curfew, I’ve still got to sleep at home.

“I asked my solicitor: ‘What if I want to go and see the dawn, or something like that?’ and she said: ‘Well, between 12 and five is probably about your limit.’ So, that would rule out midnight mass… Why should I not be able to do that? You know where I am.

“We’re supposed to be able to protest… The perpetrators of real, serious harm in this country are actually in government. What are we supposed to do?”

Hewes, who was speaking to openDemocracy in December and was in fact able to attend midnight mass without a hitch on Christmas Day, had been arrested in November 2022 and charged with conspiracy to cause a public nuisance. He has worn the tag since January 2023 after being held on remand at Wandsworth Prison for six weeks, and has to keep it on until his trial begins in February 2025. Tags must be worn at all times for as long as the court decides.

While he denies the charge, Hewes’s tag prohibits him from going on the M25 and taking part in or organising climate protests. Following previous action with other climate campaign groups such as Extinction Rebellion, Insulate Britain and Christian Climate Action, he says he has faced increasingly harsh treatment from the police and justice system.

Hewes was arrested on a Sunday afternoon. He said he had just put his collar on as he prepared to take part in a church service when he looked out of the window and saw his garden “swarming with police”.

“They shouted up: ‘If you don’t come down and open the door, we’re going to break it down now.’ And they got what they call a ‘big red key’, which is a euphemism for the battering ram. It was scary.”

He added: “Sunday afternoon was just never the same for me.”

Hewes said he was initially embarrassed to lead services with his tag on, and believes climate activists are being heavily criminalised in order to silence and discredit them.

Suella Braverman talked about Just Stop Oil in the same breath as terrorists,” he told openDemocracy. “That’s outrageous. We’re peaceful protesters. The climate crisis is an existential threat.”

Braverman, the former home secretary who was forced out after inciting a far-right mob to storm the Cenotaph in November, referred to the activist group as “extremists” in 2022 and said they were “out of control” following a series of protests on the M25.

Marcin Wawrzyn, 42 – who was arrested after 20 minutes of ‘slow marching’ with Just Stop Oil in November – told openDemocracy that being given a tag felt “unfair” and “disproportionate”.

“It felt like a punishment and for what?” he said. “I was marching in the road – where else would you protest? The judges of ECHR say roads are the most appropriate places for protests and anything under 90 minutes cannot be seen as disruptive.”

Mentally, it was harsh – I felt like a dog on a leash

Wawrzyn was charged under section 7 of the Public Order Act 2023, which bans any act that “interferes with the use or operation of any key national infrastructure”. He has pleaded not guilty, and his case is expected to begin in 2025.

Under the conditions of his tag, Wawrzyn was prohibited from crossing the River Thames from his home in Wandsworth, south-west London, and from going into north London for a month. Though his tag has now been removed, he described feeling isolated.

“Despite my work being in north London, I was excluded from my office for a month, which is something a court shouldn’t do. But that’s what happened to me. Mentally, it was harsh – I felt like a dog on a leash.

“I felt detached and like I was prevented from having human contact with people I really care about.”

Hewes agreed. “I’m a marked and tracked man,” he said. “It’s really frustrating. As activists, one of the things that helps our mental health is the fact that you are trying to do something, however feeble it might appear to other people.”

Last month, Just Stop Oil wrote to the Met Police after the force claimed that policing the group’s protests cost almost £20m. Just Stop Oil said that “arresting non-violent grandmothers, teenagers, vicars, medics, engineers” was a “waste” of resources.

But Wawrzyn added that campaigners have not been deterred by the crackdown. “The fact that the state reacts in such a way only emboldens us and gives us the assurance that they’re actually noticing what we’re doing and they are actively fighting us,” he said. “If anything, we’re galvanised and we’re drawing more and more people in.”

Original article by Anita Mureithi republished from Open Democracy under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International licence.

Just Stop Oil protesting in London 6 December 2022.
Just Stop Oil protesting in London 6 December 2022.
Continue ReadingPriest, 73, among climate activists made to wear GPS tags for years

Analysis reveals 80% of North Sea oil is exported

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North Sea oil rigs in Cromarty Firth, Scotland. Credit: joiseyshowaa (CC BY-SA 2.0)
North Sea oil rigs in Cromarty Firth, Scotland. Credit: joiseyshowaa (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Guardian Exclusive: Rise in share of UK oil and gas that is exported challenges PM’s claim that fossil fuel extraction brings energy security

The share of UK’s oil and gas that is exported has increased from 60% to 80% over the last two decades, according to findings that will intensify pressure over the government’s claims that “maxing out” the North Sea will increase the UK’s energy security.

On Monday, the government will attempt to pass the oil and gas bill, which they say will boost energy security by creating a rolling annual licensing regime for new fossil fuel contracts. But critics argue that the fossil fuels extracted will be sold on the global market, and the vast majority will be exported.

Now analysis of government data by Global Witness has shown that in the 20 years between 2004 and 2023 the UK awarded 1,680 licences to companies to extract oil and gas in the North Sea. The analysis found that the share of UK oil and gas that was exported between 2004 and 2022 rose from 60% to more than 80%. During the same period domestic oil production fell by 60%.

Jonathan Noronha-Gant, a senior campaigner at Global Witness, said the new law would only prolong the UK’s energy problems. “People want long-term solutions to bring down their bills and fight the emissions damaging the climate,” he said. “New oilfields in the North Sea will line the pockets of rich fossil fuel execs; they won’t help the millions of Brits struggling to pay their bills.”

Skidmore said that the reason he had resigned over the bill was because “there is no future energy security in fossil fuels that are extracted by foreign companies, will only be sold on international markets and will have no impact on UK energy security”.

Continue ReadingAnalysis reveals 80% of North Sea oil is exported

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

Just Stop Oil activist handed shocking six-month prison sentence for slow marching

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Just Stop Oil protesters as they take part in a slow march protest through London as part of the group’s campaign to convince the government to end all new oil and gas projects in the UK, April 24, 2023

THE government’s draconian anti-protest laws have been used to give a shocking six-month prison sentence to a climate activist for taking part in a peaceful slow march.

Just Stop Oil supporter Stephen Gingell, 57, was sentenced at Manchester magistrates’ court on Thursday.

The father-of-three was arrested on November 13 after taking part in a slow march in north London for about half an hour.

Mr Gingell pleaded guilty to breaching section seven of the Public Order Act, which bans any act “which interferes with the use or operation of any key national infrastructure in England and Wales.”

Passed in May, the widely condemned legislation allows police to ban peaceful protests merely on the grounds that they might become disruptive.

“It seems this government has now made walking down the road, walking on the public highway, an illegal act that is worthy of imprisonment,” a Just Stop Oil spokesperson said.

Continue ReadingJust Stop Oil activist handed shocking six-month prison sentence for slow marching

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

PM Sunak defends ‘severe’ Just Stop Oil sentences

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Morgan Trowland and Marcus Decker protest and close the M25 Dartford Bridge.
Morgan Trowland and Marcus Decker protest and close the M25 Dartford Bridge.

At a glance

  • The PM has defended sentences handed to two Just Stop Oil activists
  • The United Nations had warned the long sentences could stifle protest
  • The protesters caused gridlock after climbing the Dartford Crossing bridge

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has defended sentences handed to two Just Stop Oil climate campaigners following criticism from the United Nations.

Morgan Trowland, 40, was jailed for three years and Marcus Decker, 34, for two years for causing a public nuisance after scaling the Dartford Crossing Bridge.

The UN had warned the government in a letter that the “severe” sentences could stifle protest.

Mr Sunak said in response in a post on X, formerly Twitter, that those who break the law should feel the full force of it.

“It’s entirely right that selfish protestors intent on causing misery to the hard-working majority face tough sentences,” he said.

“It’s what the public expects and it’s what we’ve delivered.”

One of the many occasions climate change denier and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak uses a private jet.
One of the many occasions climate change denier and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak uses a private jet.

What an asshole Rishi Sunak is calling Just Stop Oil protesters selfish. So they’re protesting for the benefit of the planet and all it’s inhabitants human or animal, risking prison sentences and criminal records. C’mon Sunak you assole, you had better explain how exactly that is selfish?

Isn’t it people like Sunak and fossil fuel investors that destroy our planet, nature and everybody’s future for profit who are the real selfish bastards? The oil industry has known since the 60s that their actions were destroying the planet and they did it regardless for profit. Isn’t that selfish? Of course, these are the selfish bastards.

Sunak when he was Chancellor introduced huge fossil fuel subsidies that are intended to extract every last drop of oil from the North Sea despite knowing full well that that the World is likely to hit 3 degrees C warming as a result. This will lead to more and more extreme climate events as if we didn’t have enough already. It’s uncertain that humans or the planet can take 3 degrees increase due to fossil fuels and this total cnut has the audacity to call those campaigning against this selfish …

Image of InBedWithBigOil by Not Here To Be Liked + Hex Prints from Just Stop Oil's You May Find Yourself... art auction. Featuring Rishi Sunak, Fossil Fuels and Rupert Murdoch.
Image of InBedWithBigOil by Not Here To Be Liked + Hex Prints from Just Stop Oil’s You May Find Yourself… art auction. Featuring Rishi Sunak, Fossil Fuels and Rupert Murdoch.
Continue ReadingPM Sunak defends ‘severe’ Just Stop Oil sentences