Extinction Rebellion Follow-up Meeting with Michael Gove and Nadhim Zahawi - Extinction Rebellion UK

Extinction Rebellion Follow-up Meeting with Michael Gove and Nadhim Zahawi

Three members of Extinction Rebellion today met Michael Gove, UK Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for a follow-up meeting. They were joined by Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families, Nadhim Zahawi.

The group discussed the government’s 2050 target for net zero greenhouse gas emissions and the proposed Citizens’ Assemblies set to be held in the Autumn. 

The Extinction Rebellion representatives made clear that the 2050 target is wholly inadequate and fails to avert the risk of environmental destruction and social collapse. 

The issue of excluding embodied emissions from calculations of net UK emissions was also raised, along with the ensuing claims that UK emissions have fallen. Michael Gove agreed this could not continue and assured those in the meeting that the government would make a shift away from such calculations. Whether this shift materialises or not Extinction Rebellion will continue to tell the truth about the UK’s contribution to the Climate and Ecological Emergency and call on the government and the media to do the same.

An agreement was made between Michael Gove and representatives of Extinction Rebellion on a meeting with the new prime minister and cabinet, speaking to Defra about the fragility of  UK systems to climate shocks and further conversations about the transparency of a UK Citizens’ Assembly. 

Following the meeting Rupert Read, Philosopher of science and sustainability, and member of Extinction Rebellion, said: “We are in a climate and ecological emergency. Small shifts in tone and policy are welcome – but are also proof that the government is not yet ready to tell the truth about the huge risks faced by tens of millions of British families given the current trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions.” 

Skeena Rathor,  member of Extinction Rebellion, who also attended the meeting, said afterwards: “We respect the efforts of our elected representatives in government to engage, but it is clear from the meeting that the UK government is still captured by business as usual. Their continued powerlessness to act will be the catalyst for the next and largest Rebellion yet.” 

Linda Doyle, 26, Extinction Rebellion Citizens’ Assembly Working Group said: “Aiming for net zero emissions by 2050 is like flipping a coin to decide whether or not I will reach my sixties. While the government continues to work to a target date which is basically a death sentence, Extinction Rebellion will go on rebelling for life on earth. 

“It is essential that the proposed Citizens’ Assembly on climate will have a broad remit to consider the urgency of radical action needed, rather than working within the constraints of the select committees’ agenda.”

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