York Green Party

York Climate Action backward protest mocks Government's climate achievements

4 May 2016

Backward protest mocks Government's climate achievements

York Green PArty will be supporting this event, with Councillor Denise Craghill speaking.


On Saturday May 7th, campaigners will commemorate a year of Government failure on climate policy by marching through York - backwards.

Since the election of the current government in May 2015, subsidies for clean energy technology have been cut along with funding for energy saving programmes. Meanwhile, the Government has been promoting shale gas from fracking and pushing through road and runway developments.

In June, the Green Deal supporting home insulation improvements was scrapped and onshore wind turbines were effectively banned. In December, support for domestic solar panels was cut by 65%. And in the same year, £139 million subsidies were allocated for coal fired power stations in the 'capacity market auctions' and 1,000 square miles of the UK were opened up for fracking licenses. The Green Investment Bank was sold off and a scheme to develop carbon capture and storage was cancelled. In all, 16 measures to tackle climate change were cut in 2015.

2015 was also the hottest year on record, with massive flooding events not only in York but across the UK bearing testament to the changing climate. 

After marching backwards - slowly - down Davygate, the protestors will be addressed at a rally in Parliament Street. Those speaking include Rachael Maskell (MP for York Central), Cllr Andrew Waller (Lib Dem executive member for the environment) and Green Councillor Denise Craghill.

Theo Papa-Adams of York Greenpeace will present an open letter to Cllr Waller in which York campaigners urge him to object to central government efforts to overrule local planning decisions against fracking.

"The determination of the UK government to push ahead with fracking puts us at the bottom of the class," says Kit Bennett of Frack Free York. "We're cementing our old reputation - not just the dirty man of Europe but among the dirtiest in the world."

Following the COP21 agreement, France announced that it would no longer issue licenses for any conventional oil or gas exploration - let alone fracking, which is already banned nationally - and is banning cars from more areas of Paris. China has begun to cut its use of coal, with a three-year ban on new coal mines now in place, as it is on public land in the US.

"The UK was seen as a global leader in the fight against climate change. Cameron has slammed on the brakes and put us in reverse. We need to go forwards, not backwards, on climate," 

The York event takes place one day ahead of a national demonstration in London at which protesters will march backwards down Whitehall from Trafalgar Square toward Parliament and symbolically dismantle the UK renewable industry.

The event in York is being organised by York Climate Action, supported by York Greenpeace, York and Ryedale Friends of the Earth, York People's Assembly, Frack Free York, York Community Energy and Just York.

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