Birmingham politicians support students in declaring a “climate emergency”

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Thousands gathered in Birmingham’s Victoria Square today (September 20th) to call on the Government to “take the necessary steps to tackle the climate crisis and create a better world” — as politicians and councillors in the city asked for a ‘national action’ plan to reach the target of zero carbon emissions.

Speaking at the event Preet Kaur Gill MP said: “We know that there is a need to act to prevent a global climate disaster, but our current government is not doing enough.

“And worse, they continue to exacerbate the problem: since 2010 they have spent at least £680million on aid for fossil fuel projects.”

Liberal Democrat councillor for Acocks Green Roger Harmer added:

“There are some things that need changing that are going to take a lot of time. We need to get on with it now to be able to hit those targets.”

Harmer suggested electrifying railways and retrofitting existing housing stock with quality insulation as two long-term initiatives that were needed.

Poster: The Future is not what it used to be
Many protestors brought home-made banners

Birmingham’s protest is one of 150 to take place across the UK today coordinated by The UK Student Climate Network (UKSCN).

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded in their 2018 report that we have 12 years to make a difference to our planet to avoid disastrous climate impacts.

Lisa Trickett, Labour councillor for Brandwood and King’s Heath said the city should lead the way in tackling the climate crisis:

“We must start connecting with each other. If we talk more and understand what we are up against we will actually beat this.

“We should lead by example for other countries and we should lead as a city as well.

“We were built on an industrial heritage as we have made our wealth as a city out of carbon-intensive industries. What is being experienced elsewhere around the globe is down to us.”

ClimateStrike protest Birmingham

Some attending the Climate Strike also highlighted the personal changes that people could make to their daily lives.

Student Hannah Lee (17) said: “People need to become conscious of everything they do: if you can walk somewhere it is better for the environment and better for you.”

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