International Day of Action on Climate Change

London March, Saturday 3 December 2005

The Campaign against Climate Change organised a march in London as part of the International Day of Climate Protest, one of many around the world. The goal: to press for urgent action on climate change in order to prevent catastrophic destabilisation of global climate.

Thousands gathered at the start of the march in Lincoln's Inn Fields near Holborn Tube station at midday, Saturday 3 December 2005.

A handbuilt wind turbine.

James in the tipi field.

Our banner which read:



drawing attention to the twin threats of climate change and Peak Oil.

The march - underway at last after an hour's holdup!

A handbuilt wind turbine.

James in the tipi field.

Although the mood was generally sombre, as many people are frightened about the growing impacts of climate change and continuing governmental reluctance to tackle it, light relief was provided by a contingent of clowns!

A large banner carried by Share The World's Resources which read:





A handbuilt wind turbine.

It was a wet and mild December afternoon as we marched past Westminster on our way to Downing Street to deliver a petition to Number 10.

Up to Trafalgar Square with Nelson's Column in the background. Thousands of bystanders and shoppers watched the march go by.

A handbuilt wind turbine.

James in the tipi field.

The destination: a rally outside the American Embassy in Grosvenor Square, where a range of speakers delivered passionate speeches about the need for global action on climate change with legally binding targets.

Pictured is Caroline Lucas, Green MEP for the south east region. Other speakers included George Monbiot, Michael Meacher MP and Norman Baker MP.

A key solution to climate change advocated by the Global Commons Institute. This banner reads:

"Contraction [of global emissions to respect the Earth's capacity] & Convergence" [of all nations' emissions-rights to per-capita parity] "is the logical conclusion of an equitable approach to resolving Climate Change." Ambassador Estrada: Chair, Kyoto Conference Global Commons Institute www.gci.org.uk

Speeches (as posted to www.powerswitch.org.uk News forum)

We went on Saturday's march in London organised by the Campaign against Climate Change (www.campaigncc.org), as part of an international day of protest.

It was a great success - thousands marched past Westminster, Downing Street and on to the American Embassy in Grosvenor Square where there were speeches from Caroline Lucas (Green MEP), Michael Meacher, George Monbiot and many others.

Both Caroline Lucas and George Monbiot referred to the global peak in fossil fuel production. Caroline stressed that we need to address climate change and peak oil together and end our addiction to oil. She also made the link between peak oil and the increased likelihood of global conflicts (oil wars). She said a move towards renewables was a move towards peace and emphasised that nuclear is not the answer, being "dirty, uneconomic and unnecessary". She said the current government Energy Review was another "dodgy dossier" which Blair was using to push through his pro-nuclear policies.

George Monbiot, in the most profound and hard-hitting speech of the day, also highlighted the convergence of climate change and energy issues. He examined human history in terms of our use of fossil fuels, and concluded that "we are the most fortunate generation that has ever lived or will ever live". Fossil fuels had powered our growth and prosperity, and indeed supported the whole "edifice" of our civilisation. He stated clearly that oil supplies are running out, without actually using the term "peak oil", and added that nuclear and renewables could never replace oil. At the same time, we faced the threat of irreversible climate change. The edifice was about to come down around us.

He also said that historically no one had ever "rioted for austerity" but today's march was a demand for less, rather than more. He called for a drastic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (90% by 2030) and said that it was necessary to put pressure on governments to reduce energy consumption. However, the biggest change that needed to be made was "inside our own heads". By this he meant we need to change our whole attitude towards consumption of energy and natural resources.

Our peak oil contingent went along with a banner 'Climate/Energy Crisis - Cut the Carbon Now!' to emphasise the twin threats we face: peak oil and climate change. See photos above.

The BBC covered the event on Saturday evening's headlines, but there's been little online news coverage so far.

The Contraction and Convergence model received quite a few mentions in the speeches and we were heartened by the maturity of understanding. There's hope yet!

-- (c) James Lea, www.GreenLiving.co.uk, 2005 - 2007 --