Green Groups hold COP26 Climate Protests throughout Calderdale
Monday, 8 November 2021
'Discobedience' dancers, giant puppets, banners and a stall in central Halifax marked the end of a week of COP26 public awareness protest events across the borough. Calderdale green groups, including Green New Deal, Friends of the Earth and Extinction Rebellion were highlighting the urgent need for much stronger local, UK and international action to tackle the climate crisis as the UK Government hosts the UN talks in Glasgow.
- Saturday 30 October: 'Deep Water Rising' a sounding of the alarm with banging drums and saucepans at main bridges in the valley
- Monday 1 November: 'Banner Raising' huge banners unveiled at major road junctions along the valley
- Friday 5 November: Youth strike in Hebden Bridge
- Friday 5 November: Youth engagement event Todmorden College
- Saturday 6 November: "Liar, Liar the earth is on fire!" public engagement event in Halifax with giant puppets, stall, 'discobedience' dancing, banners and placards
COP 26 talks
The UK Government is hosting the UN Climate Conference Of the Parties (COP) in Glasgow from Oct 31st until Nov 12. To coincide - millions of people across the world, including UK towns and cities, have taken to the streets on the 'Global Day of Action for Climate Justice' to call for stronger commitments from global leaders to address the climate emergency. The COP26 talks were postponed from 2020 due to the global Covid 19 Pandemic.
Halifax day of action
In Halifax on 6 November, Calderdale Green Groups used giant puppets representing prominent environmentalists Paulo Paulino Guajajara (Brazil) and Wangari Maathai (Kenya) - to symbolise the international justice elements of the climate crisis.
'Discobedience' flamboyantly dressed dancers also strutted their stuff in an elaborate light-hearted dance routine to the Bee Gees' smash disco hit 'Staying Alive'. The dramatic 'death' of the dancers at the end of the song was followed by a hard hitting but positive rallying speech by campaigners emphasising the urgent need to address the climate crisis. This included a call for the UK Government to abandon its support for new fossil fuel projects, but also highlighted the positive advantages of moving to a green UK economy - for example the generation of hundreds of thousands of new green jobs and cutting 'fuel poverty' through a comprehensive home insulation programme.
Liar liar, the earth is on fire!
'Liar liar, the earth is on fire!' messaging used in Halifax was designed to highlight the miss-match between the UK Governments claims to be world leaders on climate change while simultaneously supporting several new fossil fuel projects. Scientists say that 60% of oil and gas reserves and 90% of coal cannot be burnt and must remain in the ground if we are to have even a 50% of meeting the 2015 Paris Climate agreement of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5oC.
Local campaigner Pam Parkinson, who took part in the Sowerby Bridge demonstration on 1 November said, "A group of us waved banners and placards. Passing traffic gave us the thumbs up, school kids waved support from packed buses, the sense of solidarity was really heartening!"
Richard Dyer, campaigner from Calderdale Green New Deal, was in Halifax on 6 November and said, "Shoppers seem to enjoy the puppets and the discobedience dancers! These are such an eye-catching way to get across the message that we are in serious peril unless global leaders do more to address the climate crisis and our own government must start by leaving fossil fuels in the ground."
"We also need stronger action locally, its great that Calderdale Council declared a Climate Emergency in 2019 but this was almost 3 years ago and we've yet to see a local Climate Action Plan from the Council of how they will meet their emissions reduction target, we need proposals soon and the people of Calderdale must be consulted and involved in its development"