By Peter Lazenby
CLIMATE change campaigners staged a lively march through London on Saturday in the first of a series of international protests demanding action to stop disastrous global warning.
The march preceded the start yesterday of United Nations climate talks in Katowice in Poland, at which nearly 200 countries will attempt to agree to rules on how to shift the world economy from fossil fuels to try to curb rising temperatures.
And at the G20 Summit of the world’s 20 richest nations in Argentina, the United States, which has pulled out of the international Paris Agreement on climate change reached in 2015, again rejected any inter-governmental agreement on action to combat climate change.
The rally saw campaigners hand in a letter at 10 Downing Street calling for Britain to ban the controversial and damaging energy extraction process of fracking.
Claire James from the Campaign against Climate Change, said: “It is vital that richer nations, such as the UK, lead the way, by doing what is actually the minimum required in this crisis — an urgent transition to a zero-carbon economy.
“We can do this, but we need to start now — for example to reverse the ban on new onshore wind in England, halt unpopular fracking, cancel the third runway at Heathrow and invest instead in sustainable transport to make ordinary people’s lives easier.”
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned that drastic and immediate international action is needed to limit the increase in global warming to 1.5°C.
Shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner MP, who attended the demonstration, said: “Action now could not be more important.
“As the world prepares to meet in Poland to respond to the devastating report on the 1.5°C target, we know that rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented change is needed.
“Why does this government continue to support fracking? It is economically, environmentally and ethically wrong. We must ban fracking, invest in a low-carbon economy and create a net zero future.”
Green Party co-leader Sian Berry, who was also at the protest, said: “With the UN warning we have just 12 years to limit climate catastrophe. The decisions made by global governments in Poland have the potential to make or break our ability to face the future.
“The UK must show political leadership by ditching climate-wrecking policies like fracking and airport expansion, and committing to the bold and radical action we need to save the planet.”
A government spokesman said: “Now is the time for collective agreement and the UK will be pushing for clear rules and ambitious, transparent goals.
“This will ensure all parties play their part in tackling this urgent challenge while increasing investment to create low-carbon and resilient economies around the world.”