Extinction Rebellion responds to Shadow Environment Minister’s declaration of Climate Emergency: ‘An Emergency requires an Emergency response’
March 28, 2019 by Extinction Rebellion
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Extinction Rebellion UK welcomes Westminster’s Labour Shadow Environment Secretary, Sue Hayman’s, decision to declare a national Environment and Climate Emergency in the House of Commons, but warns that urgent action is needed more than words. An emergency requires an emergency response.
Extinction Rebellion UK is currently in preparation for a full scale rebellion against the government for its criminal inaction in the face of climate and ecological breakdown, with International Rebellion beginning Monday 15 April when central London will face gridlock and economic disruption in several locations for at least two weeks. 
Hayman called on the government to meet with youth strikers. Extinction Rebellion Youth previously scheduled a meeting with Claire Perry MP, Minister for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, but the meeting was later cancelled. 
Friederike Lurken from Extinction Rebellion said: “An emergency requires an emergency response. It is important that Labour is now taking this step and that Momentum will be taking direct action tomorrow against Barclays who have been funding the fossils fuels industry – we are delighted to see part of the Labour party engaging in civil disobedience. 
“It’s a welcome first step after 2 years of nothing but Brexit, but it will count for nothing unless Labour and all other political parties fully commit to making massive changes to tackle climate change and the ecological crisis, not just warm words but bold action. Given a majority of Labour MPs voted for a third runway at Heathrow – we await with bated breath their next steps.
“Also given that a huge majority of SNP, Labour and the Scottish Conservatives in Holyrood have just said no to declaring a climate emergency, arguing that too many jobs and livelihoods depend on the oil and gas industry in Scotland, we would like to remind politicians that there will be no jobs on a dead planet, yours and our children will remember you for what you did now. 
“We are living through a climate emergency because governments and industry have not shown the necessary leadership, and, so far, have not acted fast enough. Fortunately, thousands upon thousands of people are rising up with Extinction Rebellion and cultural institutions are joining with us. Dozens of local councils around the UK have already declared a climate emergency – both inspired by and through grassroots pressure from Extinction Rebellion and the global School Strike For Climate.
“On 2 April Jenny Jones, Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb will hold a Climate Emergency Debate in the House of Lords. On 3 April more than 28 arts institutions and 48 individuals including The Royal Court Theatre are about to join the call as part of the new Culture Declares initiative. Lastly we would like to say see you on the streets on Monday 15 April, come to stay, take two weeks off work, bring a tent.” 
Further information on Culture Declares Emergency – launching 3 April
Inspired by dozens of UK councils declaring Climate Emergencies – from Cornwall to Hull, from Mendip to London – members of the arts, culture and creative industries have decided to ask how their sector might respond collectively. They are now calling on the arts and cultural community to do its part in telling the truth about the climate and ecological crisis, and to take necessary action. Those declaring including the Royal Court Theatre will make a series of pledges on April 3, and follow up with a range of actions to respond to the emergency. For example:
- Amongst 7 pledges, ONCA gallery based in Brighton, pledge to “Work towards reducing ONCA’s CO2 emissions to net zero by 2025 by continuously reviewing and developing our environmental policies in dialogue with our suppliers” Persephone Pearl, Director
- Invisible Dust (London and Scarborough), who work with leading artists and scientists to produce unique and exciting works of contemporary art, will commit to making the emergency visible through visual arts, working hard to reach more audiences with a range of work through the lens of climate change
- “The Royal Court is declaring because we have a long-standing commitment to sustainability and producing climate plays and we want to be part of ramping up the urgency. We are committed to using our spaces and our platform to doing so.” Lucy Davies, Executive Producer.
Organisations and cultural practitioners can confirm their wish to declare here – deadline to be part of the first wave is tomorrow Friday 29 March.
Media invite 9am Wednesday 3 April – Culture Declares Emergency launch:
- Culture Declares Emergency will formally launch Wednesday 3 April with an artist-led ceremony and procession
This will begin at 9am Somerset House, cross Waterloo Bridge, and move on to other arts institutions on the South bank of the Thames#
- At each location, a variety of Declarations of Emergency and a preview of Letters to the Earth – a campaign of Culture Declares Emergency – will be read. All venues participating in the first joint action, Letters To The Earth on Friday 12 April, will be announced. More details about Letters to the Earth at https://www.letterstotheearth.com/
- At around 11.30am near the Globe Theatre there will be an opportunity to hear the context and different voices behind Culture Declares Emergency.
Press who would like to be part of this event are asked to rsvp at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to editors
 International Rebellion https://rebellion.earth/get-active/international-rebellion-a-guide-for-participants/ / https://www.facebook.com/events/126622414898833/
 Claire Perry MP Urged to Honour Agreed Meeting with Extinction Rebellion Youth https://rebellion.earth/claire-perry-mp-urged-to-honour-agreed-meeting-with-extinction-rebellion-youth/
 Momentum Take Action Against Barclays https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/mar/20/uk-environmentalists-launch-campaign-against-barclays-bank
 Culture Declares https://rebellion.earth/uk-culture-set-to-declare-climate-emergency-last-call-to-join-first-wave/ / The Culture Declares Emergency toolkit https://sites.google.com/view/culturedeclaresemergency/
 Climate Factsheet for Rebels https://rebellion.earth/the-climate-factsheet-for-rebels/
 About Extinction Rebellion:
Time has almost entirely run out to address the ecological crisis which is upon us, including the 6th mass species extinction and abrupt, runaway climate change. Societal collapse and mass death are seen as inevitable by scientists and other credible voices, with human extinction also a possibility, if rapid action is not taken.
Extinction Rebellion believes it is a citizen’s duty to rebel, using peaceful civil disobedience, when faced with criminal inactivity by its Government.
Extinction Rebellion’s key demands are:
The Government must tell the truth about the ecological emergency, reverse inconsistent policies and work alongside the media to communicate with citizens
The Government must enact legally binding policy measures to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025 and to reduce consumption levels
A national Citizens’ Assembly to oversee the changes, as part of creating a democracy fit for purpose.
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