Saturday 1st December was the Global Day of Action on Climate Change. As governments talked in Doha, Qatar, for the latest round of UN climate talks, campaigners around the world demonstrated for a massive reduction in carbon emissions due to burning fossil fuels.
In Market Place, Huddersfield we held a ‘Clean Energy not Extreme Energy’ stall from 10am-12pm. We asked the public to sign postcards calling for a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’ and promoting Friends of the Earth’s ‘Clean British Energy campaign’. The response was great!
Following the stall we completed an ‘extreme energy’ walking tour of Huddersfield from 12pm to 1pm. We visited banks and shops owned by companies that are financing, or engaged in ‘fracking’ or the tar sands project in Canada. At each site- including Barclays, HSBC, Superdrug and the BP petrol station- our ‘tour guide’ explained the company’s involvement and a protest letter was delivered to the manager.
Tar Sands and ‘fracking’ are known as unconventional fossil fuels or ‘extreme energy’. They both require very large amounts of energy and water to be extracted and are associated with high risks of pollution. Neither was considered economically viable until recent technological developments and rises in oil and gas prices made them more attractive.‘Fracking’ involves the extraction of shale gas. Cuadrilla resources have been undertaking exploratory drilling in the Blackpool area.
Tim Padmore from Kirklees Campaign Against Climate Change says, “Climate change means that it’s essential that we keep unconventional fossil fuels – like shale gas and tar sands – in the ground. Reports like Friends of the Earth’s ‘Clean British Energy’ report explain clearly how we can and must make massive steps forward by decarbonising electricity by 2030. In the days after the government’s failed Energy Bill, we want to remind the public that there is a climate crisis and there is a sustainable and viable alternative to conventional fossil fuels and extreme energy.”
While we toured our town, campaigners in London marched between the US embassy and parliament, where a 7m mock fracking rig was erected. Around the UK Frack-Off co-ordinated a day of action against shale gas extraction called ‘The Big Rig Revolt’. We were happy to work with the group and be part of their ‘live coverage’ of the day. Check out our photos on http://frack-off.org.uk/action/extreme-energy-tour-live/