Extinction Rebellion: Activists say meeting with Michael Gove 'disappointing'

Pablo Tucker
April 30, 2019

The group says climate breakdown threatens all life on Earth, and so it is rebelling against politicians who "have failed us", to provoke radical change that will stave off a climate emergency.

The city's branch of environmental campaign group Extinction Rebellion gathered at the Forum on Millennium Plain on Saturday morning to draw attention to the consequences of climate change.

A Government spokesman said: "We can confirm a private meeting will be held between the Environment Secretary, (Committee on Climate Change chairman) Lord Deben and representatives from Extinction Rebellion".

Demonstration have included blocking bridges to traffic in London and a semi-naked protest inside the House of Commons.

Extinction Rebellion is an global protest group that uses non-violent civil disobedience to campaign on environmental issues.

There is no single definition of what that means, but many local areas say they want to be carbon-neutral by 2030, and proponents say the situation amounts to an emergency because the United Nations has warned the world could have just 12 years left to limit a climate change catastrophe.

Dr Rupert Read was one of five members of the group to meet Mr Gove and ministers from other departments, including the Treasury, in Westminster.

Afterwards, Clare Farrell, co-founder of Extinction Rebellion, welcomed the "unexpected levels of interest" in the idea of citizens' assemblies, but said ultimately the meeting "resulted in no concrete outcome".

The group will also meet London Mayor Sadiq Khan at 15:30 today and shadow chancellor John McDonnell at some point on Tuesday.

Such a declaration was a demand of the Extinction Rebellion activists who paralyzed parts of London this month. The current political system is not capable of implementing such fundamental changes to the way we live.

They include declaring a national emergency on climate change, reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025 and establishing a Citizens Assembly for people to make decisions and suggest policies.

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