Extinction Rebellion protestors from across the county gathered outside Theatre Severn in Shrewsbury today as Shropshire Council met at the venue.
In a colourful protest members of Extinction Rebellion staged a mass die in while performers dressed as ‘councillors’ talked ‘hot air’ about the climate emergency. The group was joined by a troupe of ‘Red Rebels’, dressed in striking crimson robes, and also by Clarion the Polar Bear, a 10’ 6” sculpture by Bishop’s Castle artist Bamber Hawes.
Jo Blackman, a spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion Shrewsbury said:
“It’s been over two years since Shropshire Council declared a climate emergency and we are yet to see any robust action to reduce the county’s emissions. The latest United Nations IPCC report warned that we are in a “Code Red” for humanity. We need to slash emissions by 50% by 2030. Shropshire Council isn’t meeting the scale of the challenge here in the county.”
The protesters accused Shropshire Council of being ‘all talk and no action’ and warned that continued inaction on the climate emergency, at all levels, is already causing deaths across the world.
Says Blackman: “The climate crisis is on our doorstep. In the last few months we’ve seen record wildfires in the US; devastating floods in Europe; and decimated wheat harvests causing global price spikes. A recent studied showed that climate change is linked to 5 million deaths a year.
“Shropshire won’t escape any of this. Yet, instead of slashing the county’s emissions, Shropshire Council is actively increasing them through its policies. They’re still committed to the North West Road, despite the fact it will take over 130 years to be carbon neutral; they’re still investing their pensions in fossil fuel companies; they’re still not building zero carbon homes; and they still haven’t given their support to the Climate & Ecological Emergency Bill, even though all it requires is the cost of a stamp.”
Shropshire residents from Oswestry, Ludlow, Bridgnorth, Bishop’s Castle and Clun were among the protesters calling on Shropshire Council to do more to tackle the emergency.
Janet Lewis from Llanfairwaterdine, said: “I’m here because climate action has to happen locally as well as globally. People say “What about China?”, but the UK is the second biggest historic emitter of CO2 after the US and we have a duty to lead the way. The Industrial Revolution began in Shropshire and the county could be leading the world again in the transition to a healthier, more sustainable future for all. But we can’t do that if Shropshire Council keeps blocking climate action.”