Thank you to Amin for photos and video footage; Thank you to Jeff for tweets and photos
On Saturday 10th December we joined people around the country in marking the anniversary of the Paris Climate Agreement and calling for the climate action that we need.
Our enjoyable festive double action in Huddersfield Town Centre included a festive red line one year after Paris, anti-fracking carols and street theatre.
The first action took place outside Barclays Bank (who are funding Third Energy’s plans for fracking in North Yorkshire).
We gathered around Barclays/Third Energy’s unwanted presents (including water pollution, climate change, profits before people along with fifteen other impacts of fracking) and performed special anti-fracking carols (Barclays anti-fracking carols & video footage on the KirkleesCCC Youtube Channel). Our red line conveyed the message, “Don’t cross the red line on Climate Change! Frack-free Yorkshire! Frack-free everywhere!” whilst we fliered passers-by.
Following this, we performed a street theatre piece together with fliering (Flier for Santa street theatre) at several locations around the town centre connecting the climate threat to Santa’s home, the North Pole, to the UK Government’s backtracking on climate change.
Climate change threatens us all and its effects are being seen dramatically at Santa’s home- the North Pole.
One year ago 196 nations signed the Paris Climate Agreement. They agreed to keep global temperature increases “well below” 2C and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5C.
This was a real achievement but as it stands it’s not enough to prevent dangerous climate change. The UN has said that the commitments countries have so far made will lead to dangerous warming of 3 degrees.
The election of Donald Trump also threatens action on climate change. He has called global warming a ‘hoax’ and promised to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement.
On December 8th Trump appointed a prominent climate denier, Scott Pruitt, as head of the Environment Protection Agency.
In the past eighteen months, our Government has moved backwards on climate change. It has undermined renewable energy and energy efficiency and fast-tracked fracking. Even the government’s independent advisors, the Committee on Climate Change have warned that investors are losing confidence and the Government risks missing its climate targets.
The street theatre depicted Santa coming from the North Pole and opening a present from the UK Government which is not as good as it first seems. (Good old Santa Claus looked out (to tune of Good King Wencelas) & Video footage on the KirkleesCCC Youtube Channel: Santa was glum. His home, the North Pole was melting from climate change. One year ago world leaders gave him the best present ever – a deal to stop climate change! Santa landed in Britain and opened his present. The wrapping paper was beautiful. But inside was…. Fracking! Airport expansion! New opencast coal mines! Cuts to renewable energy and home insulation! What a disappointment! This Christmas, let’s demand that Santa gets more than unwanted presents wrapped in shiny paper. Let’s give him actions as well as words to save his home!)
Further notes and references
The Barclays action came one day after a very positive day for the anti-fracking movement when campaigner Tina Rothery’s order (following failure to submit a defence against an injunction, brought by UK Energy Company Cuadrilla) was discharged at Preston court and she was spared jail.
There is excellent analysis of the issues involved in the Santa street theatre, written shortly before the COP 22 Marrakesh climate talks in November 2016, in Asad Rehman’s ‘Are we keeping our promises on climate? UK and world update’.
If you’d like to read our summary from January 2016 of the strengths and weaknesses of the Paris Climate Agreement, read ‘Paris: miracle or Disaster?’.