Vigil for Climate Safety in St George’s Square raises curtain on World’s ‘weekend to bend the course of history’

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Dozens of Kirklees residents gathered in St George’s Square on the evening of Friday 19th September as part of a ‘Vigil for Climate Safety’.

The event was organised in solidarity with ‘the People’s Climate Mobilisation’ taking place all over the world.

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Next week politicians from around the world, including Prime Minister David Cameron, will attend a Climate Summit at the UN in New York. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has called on leaders to come to the summit with pledges for reducing carbon emissions so that there is a chance of an international climate deal in Paris in 2015.

Over the weekend of 19-21st September hundreds of thousands of people are expected to attend demonstrations demanding ‘Action not Words’. The People’s Climate March in New York is expected to be the largest climate protest in US history, attracting at least 50,000 marchers.  In the UK, marches will be happening across the country, with major events in London, Edinburgh and Manchester.

Kirklees residents will be attending marches across the country on Sunday. A group of people will be travelling from Huddersfield to Manchester for the People’s Climate March catching the 10.10am train to Manchester Piccadilly and encourage anyone to contact them if they would like to join them. But others will be attending events further afield.

Holmfirth woman Janet Williams will be marching in Edinburgh. She says,I’m going to the People’s Climate March in Edinburgh, because I’ll be in Scotland on Sunday and its closer than Manchester.  I’ll be marching to add myself to the millions of people who will be doing this around the world to show our leaders how urgently we need them to prepare some really effective steps to tackle the causes of climate change.  At home in the Holme Valley our local organisation, HoTT, helps people find ways to reduce their carbon emissions but we all depend on our leaders to make the big decisions.”

Events in the UK began with Huddersfield’s Vigil for Climate Safety, attended by over sixty people.

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The gathering in St George’s Square included readings, silences and musical performances.

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Residents held up a huge banner reading ‘The Ice Is Melting’ which recognises that, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Centre, the melting of summer arctic sea ice in 2014 is likely to be the sixth most extreme on record.

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Local MP Barry Sheerman participated in the vigil. He tweeted a photo with the message “Brave bunch of climate change campaigners at St Georges Square vigil” https://twitter.com/BarrySheerman/status/513219926241574912/photo/1

The public were asked to sign an Avaaz ‘100% clean’ vigil – calling for commitments for 100% clean energy by 2050.  This petition has already been supported by 1.8 million people worldwide and over 700 people within 15 kilometres of Huddersfield town centre. The petitions will be presented to local MPs and councillors next week.

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Tim Padmore from Kirklees Campaign Against Climate Change says, ‘The message from the scientists at the United Nations is clear: climate change is happening now and is a major threat to future generations.”

“Hundreds of thousands of people are marching this weekend to say that we need action not words.”

“We know now that moving to a clean energy future is achievable. We also know that it will create jobs, energy security and improved health. But it will not happen automatically. We need to demand it.”

More photos from the Vigil

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Notes and references

  1. UN Climate Summit 23rd Septemberhttp://www.un.org/climatechange/summit/
  2.  Ban Ki Moon’s Big Idea 2014: the year for climate action http://www.un.org/climatechange/summit/2013/12/big-idea-2014-the-year-for-climate-action-by-ban-ki-moon/
  3. Guardian coverage ‘Activists promise biggest climate march in history’ (8/9/14) http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/sep/08/activists-promise-biggest-climate-march-in-history
  4. Avaaz ‘100% Clean’ petition. http://avaaz.org/100_clean
  5. People’s Climate Mobilisation http://peoplesclimate.org/global/
  6. Kirklees Campaign Against Climate Change – information about the Vigil for Climate Safety https://kirkleescampaignagainstclimatechange.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/join-us-in-huddersfield-and-manchester-to-bend-the-course-of-history/ and https://kirkleescampaignagainstclimatechange.wordpress.com/2014/09/09/toolkit-for-your-vigil/
  7. Holmfirth Transition Town    http://www.hott.org.uk/
  8. National Snow and Ice Data Center on summer arctic sea ice melting in 2014 / http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

 

 

 

 

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