So, the mouldy green dust of the "climate Davos" has settled on another COP "negotiation". 27 years on and the story is still: can; kick; road. Rather than consigning coal, oil and gas to the past, the first mention in text ever for "fossil fuels" was in a weak reference to removing ‘inefficient subsidies for fossil fuels’ with a ‘phase down’ of coal that doesn’t even mention gas or oil! COP26, more impotent than important.
On the 5th and 6th of November 2021, aviation protest actions across the globe coordinated by Stay Grounded, called for an end to aviation’s greenwashing and an effective reduction of air traffic. The diverse protests were part of a Global Day of Action called by the https://cop26coalition.org/gda/ a UK-based civil society grouping, mobilising around climate justice during COP26, the UN Climate Conference in Glasgow. In addition to the 18 events for 12 UK expanding airports, protests also took place in Mexico, Nepal, Germany and France.
Aviation is the most climate-damaging form of transport and one of the worst examples of climate injustice, so nobody should be fooled by attempts to greenwash aviation. New technologies and so-called ‘sustainable’ fuels will take decades to be used on commercial, long haul flights – and it is these flights that cause the vast majority of aviation’s climate wrecking emissions. (Check out 5 Greenwashing Factsheets here:- https://stay-grounded.org/greenwashing ). Research shows that relying on techno-fixes will not decarbonise the aviation sector rapidly enough to stay below the globally agreed 1.5 degrees C limit; and the UK government’s advisory body, the Climate Change Committee, recommends NO net expansion of UK airports and has repeatedly warned the government that technological solutions alone will be insufficient to make the aviation sector even net zero by 2050. Yet, every UK airport has plans to expand.
In this context we took to the fields and streets to counter greenwashing and aviation expansion. In what rapidly became a full Week of Action, Rising Tide UK co-ordinated the Stay Grounded activities in the UK for airports at: Bristol, Doncaster-Sheffield, Gatwick, Glasgow, Heathrow, Leeds-Bradford, London-City, Luton, Liverpool, Manchester, Southampton and Stanstead. Our press spokesperson Ray Stewart said:-
"We warn that trusting yet-to-be-developed technology to reduce climate-wrecking emissions is an extreme risk we cannot afford to take. Instead, we demand immediate action be taken to prevent aviation growth to cut associated emissions, for us to stand any chance of remaining within 1.5C.”
18 events for 12 UK airports showed what happens when we get together and co-ordinate united action around common themes under the Stay Grounded UK Chapter umbrella. So well done to those groups that took part and thanks to those who acted as group spokespeople, took photo's and did techy stuff. Lets have more groups covering more airports next time! We encourage those groups to visit https://stay-grounded.org/how-to-become-a-member/ .
Here's a round-up of what happened and where, with media links of which we're aware.
As you may know traditionally Rising Tide UK has opposed the UN-IPCC COP climate talks process from Kyoto onward as we don't think the solutions we need will come from governments, let alone in the speed we need them - but we decided to join the COP26Coalition (of UK civil society) as this COP is in the UK and to maybe add to the more radical voices within it, organising around COP26 in Glasgow and beyond. Toothless Paris Accord voluntary Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) are currently still 24bn tonnes short of preventing 1.5C heating and on course for 3C+. 6 years past the Paris Accord, climate finance reparation $100bn a year promises remain unfullfilled without any clear intention to provide financial support for "Global South" low emitting countries and island states about to be literally submerged.
Below is our latest attempt of summarising the current Coalition & COP status. Feel free to use and spread wildly (that was supposed to be widely but actually we'd prefer wildly).
If you're not travelling to Glasgow then worldwide there are demo's and marches etc happening on the 5th & 6th November linked below that you can get involved with but there is always an option to get together with your friends and pull off an action of your own targetting carbon infrastructure and their greenwash shenanigens. Some help here: http://www.networkforclimateaction.org.uk/
Plenty of false solutions abound especially those inherent in Article 6 discussion at the COP which is pretty nailed-on to see government acceptance and support for carbon business as usual offsetting (particularly within the aviation sector with COP sanctioned CORSIA); in all its guises like the attachment of tradable market mechanisms to "Nature Based" and "Natural Climate" "Solutions"; also the bogus radioactive head of nuclear power elbowing-in for a last gasp attempt.
SEE BELOW FOR DAY BY DAY COP26 CALENDAR & ALL THE DETAILS AND LINKS YOU NEED!
"My home has melted!" mourned Santa from the streets of Horley!
Having been forced to abandon his waterlogged Lapland home due to climate breakdown caused by the burning of Fossil Fuels, Santa and his elves ironically stowed away in the lifeboats of a Liquid Natural Gas tanker to escape his now flooded former snowbound winter wonderland. Sleigh's were not an option as Rudolph and comrades are now merely starved carcass, after the recent 50% catastrophic decline in reindeer/caribou numbers due to the warmer climate in the arctic eradicating their food supply. Last Saturday, upon UK landfall the former seasonal folk made their way to Horley to find the Fossil Fool culprits who were responsible for his loss - UK Oil&Gas (UKOG),the lead company of HorseHillDevelopments Ltd, who are acid-fracking the nearby Horse Hill site. It was tragic to see Santa & his elves flaunting the Vagrancy Act and especially Santa who seemed to have turned to the drink.
We would love you to join us for:-
LE TOUR-DE-FRACK - a day of Anti-fracking activist & family-friendly cycle rides in Surrey & W.Sussex
When: Assemble from 9.30am for 10am, Saturday 23rd June. https://www.facebook.com/events/1629452990496106/
What: 3 levels of cycle "Tours" around South-East Oil & Gas Drilling Sites.
Where: Dorking Meadowbank Community Park - with info,refreshments,face painting,badge-making and to send off the cyclists.
Who: You. plus your bike if you're cycling! Please bring food & drink. Wear appropriate clothing and bring your antifrackers style!
How: Trains to Dorking from London Waterloo and Victoria, Brighton and elsewhere, then on yer bike or head to the Leith Hill Protection Camp or one of the other stops.
Register for a ride by signing-up at Eventbrite https://tinyurl.com/y74t75b4
Hi South-East Anti-Frackers!
We really hope someone from your Group will be able to make it on the 27th January to:-
What: South-East Anti-Fracking meeting
Where: LARC, 62 Fieldgate Street, Whitechapel, London, E1 1ES
When: 10am-5pm, Saturday, 27th January (please bring your own lunch/food to share)
Who: RSVP TO NILS.RESPONSE@RISEUP.NET AS SPACE IS LIMITED
The Art Not Oil Coalition got underway with several spectacular Actions. A large turnout of London Rising Tiders helped our friends of Liberate Tate with theirs, organised at Tate Britain.
Fifty veiled figures dressed in black carried out a performance art installation entitled ‘Parts Per Million’ throughout a series of rooms in the so-called ‘BP Walk Through British Art’ at Tate Britain during the art gallery’s official re-opening (Saturday 23 November 2013). The piece critiqued the role that Tate is playing in exacerbating climate change by bolstering the public perception of BP through its long-standing sponsorship relationship.
As both a Rising Tide UK Campaign and a Rising Tide National Group, "Art Not Oil" has railed against Big Oil cultural sponsorship since 2004. We are pleased to announce it has now become a coalition of autonomous organisations united around the aim of ending oil sponsorship of the arts and sharing resources as the Art Not Oil Coalition.
The founding members of this new coalition alongside Rising Tide UK are:- Liberate Tate, Platform, the Reclaim Shakespeare Company, Shell Out Sounds and the UK Tar Sands Network; who have agreed to campaign together under the following :-
ART NOT OIL COALITION JOINT STATEMENT
In February and March Rock the Boat will be touring the UK with the Beehive Collective’s True Cost of Coal banner to mobilise against new coal in South Lanarkshire and linking up with local struggles to strengthen our campaigns.
Coal is still a massive issue in the UK – despite some victories against opencast mines and both Scottish Coal and UK Coal being on the brink of collapse, more and more coal is burned and mined every day. This is disastrous for communities and ecosystems, but capitalism’s dependence on cheap and dirty fossil fuels means that the struggle must continue!