‘Speak Up’ Week of Action on Climate Change, 8th-16th Oct – Press Release

PRESS RELEASE, FRIDAY 14TH OCTOBER

National ‘Week of Action’ on climate change marked by meeting with Rt. Hon. Alan Campbell MP at the iconic St Mary’s Island.

Taking as their theme, “For the love of people living by the coast”, about 30 supporters of North East CALL TO ACTION (NE-CAP) draw attention to the threat of sea level rise to people living in low-lying regions.

Speaking on behalf of NE-CAP, a member of the national Climate Coalition, Dr David Golding CBE quoted the words of an anguished Veena Khaleque, Director of the aid agency, Practical Action, in Bangladesh:

“I find it almost impossible to imagine how the poor of Bangladesh will cope”, she said, contemplating the prospect of sea level rise due to global warming.

Hardly surprising, given that ten million people live below the one metre mark in Bangladesh alone! And then there are the low lying, ‘Island States’, which will be completely submerged unless we get a grip on this issue.

Alan Campbell MP, David Golding - and T-Shirt - against the backcloth of St Mary's Island

Alan Campbell MP, David Golding – and T-Shirt – against the backcloth of St Mary’s Island


David thanked Mr Campbell for his exemplary support in the past on matters of global justice and sustainability and asked him to write to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to:

* Congratulate him for rapid progress on ratifying the Paris Climate Agreement, and to:

* Ask him to publish an ambitious low-carbon investment plan to transform the economy in line with the Climate Change Act.

But he had a word of warning for all our political leaders, stating that: “We’ve had the promises – now we need the policies!”, and “We’ve had the words – now we need the actions!”

Alan Campbell MP with campaigners (and dog!) at St Mary's Island

Alan Campbell MP with campaigners (and dog!) at St Mary’s Island


Mr Campbell responded by warmly thanking all those present for making the effort to turn out on such an unpleasant afternoon and assuring them of his support and commitment. He pointed out that, “David has, if anything, understated the threat of sea level rise, since about 150 million people world-wide live at or below the one metre level, and they also face the prospect of more extreme climate events, including damaging storm surges, etc.”

Photo’s, courtesy of Veronica Golding, North East CALL TO ACTION. High resolution images available.

The t-shirt presented to Alan Campbell bears the words “MPs against CLIMATE CHANGE” and David Golding jokingly told Mr Campbell that the campaigners would expect him to wear it in the House of Commons. David’s t-shirt is from the group “Grandparents Climate Action”.

Contact Dr David Golding CBE, david.golding@ncl.ac.uk

Development Coordinator, North East CALL TO ACTION on global poverty and climate change; and Associate, Institute for Sustainability, and Honorary Chaplain, Newcastle University

Notes for Editors:

North East CALL TO ACTION, a voluntary grouping of the supporters of the aid agencies, etc., is a member of the Climate Coalition, the UK’s largest group of people dedicated to action on climate change and to limiting its impact on the world’s poorest communities. The combined number of supporters in the Coalition’s 100+ member organisations is more than 15 million people. We have banded together to show our love for all the things we could lose to the impacts of climate change; and to ask politicians to put aside their differences, and commit publicly to do whatever is necessary to protect us and the things we love.

During the Coalition’s ‘Week of Action’, 8th-16th October, we are asking MPs like you to take a lead, locally, nationally and internationally. The UK has an opportunity to show its continued commitment to the wider world and its determination to remain a leading nation on climate change.

Now is the ideal moment to move ahead with ratifying the Paris Climate Agreement, so we applaud Prime Minister Theresa May’s announcement on 20th September that the UK will begin its domestic process for ratification before the next UN climate talks. This shows our continued commitment to the international fight against climate change, and will encourage the EU and its Member States to move more quickly to ratify the deal too.

One of the first acts of the new government was to set the fifth carbon budget into law, and we welcome that. This charts an exciting low-carbon future for the UK with a rapid, economy-wide transition over the next 15 years. We want this future to become a reality – so now the UK needs a plan to get there! We need the promised new “Emissions Reduction Plan” to drive forward vigorous and urgent action to transform the economy.

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