Call to declare climate emergency

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Climate change protesters outside Liverpool Town Hall. Pic © Summer Gedall JMU Journalism

A group of activists urging Liverpool City Council to join other local authorities in declaring a ‘climate emergency’ held a protest at the Town Hall this week.

Around 20 people gathered outside the council’s High Street headquarters as part of the ‘Extinction Rebellion’ protest, demanding that the issue is taken seriously.

An air pollution map released by the government suggests that there are worrying levels of air pollution in Liverpool, protesters say action must be taken now.

In November 2018, the council confirmed its support of a ‘Local Government Declaration on Healthy Weight’, leaving members of Extinction Rebellion questioning why the issue of climate change is not receiving the same recognition.

The group’s organiser, Benjamin Percival, is supporting the Liverpool Green Party’s calls in asking Liverpool City Council to follow the course of action taken by other UK local authorities to make a declaration on the issue.

Mr Percival told JMU Journalism: “We’re entering the age of the sixth mass extinction and we’re currently experiencing the hottest February in this country in human history.

“Next week, the Green Party councillors are tabling a motion for the council to declare a climate emergency.

“They already tabled this motion three or four months ago, but nobody took it seriously, including the Mayor, Joe Anderson.

YouTube: Summer Gedall

“We’re here to say we’re not having it anymore, time is up and now we’re rebelling until the council get serious about the existential threat that we’re all facing.”

The group members formed their protest on Wednesday by standing outside the Town Hall armed with posters and signs before jumping the locked fence of the building and sticking a ‘declaration of rebellion’ on the door.

One protester, 20 year-old Lucy Shaw, told JMU Journalism: “As a Geography student and individual who is passionate about the natural environment, the devastation that our natural world faces as consequence of humanities selfish and ignorant ways is beyond comprehension for me.

Group organiser Benjamin Percival at the protest. Pic © Summer Gedall JMU Journalism

“Extinction Rebellion is all about rebelling in solidarity against the current unsustainable societal norms and making our voices heard to policy makers so that we can come together and try and make the difference our planet so desperately needs.”

Mayor Joe Anderson told the Liverpool Echo: “I was at a national air quality conference last week and spoke about how we are being really progressive in what we do.

“We are trying to put a deal to government that will allow us to take bold actions in this area.”

Twitter: Joe Anderson