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Incoming YUSU Environment and Ethics officers to lead a demonstration to pressure the council into declaring climate emergency

The musical march and demonstration will take place on Thursday evening

Merry Dickinson and Mark Matthews, incoming YUSU Environment and Ethics officers and co-coordinators of Extinction Rebellion York, will lead a musical march and demonstration on Thursday from 5:30PM.

The purpose of the march is to call on the council to pass the motion declaring climate emergency and to committing to going carbon neutral by 2030.

The march will involve a percussion band as well as speakers, chants and other family friendly activities all demanding that the council pass the motion.

Merry Dickinson said: "The declaration of a climate emergency is the first step in tackling climate breakdown, as we must be aware of the scale of the crisis we are living in to take meaningful action. We must ensure that this is not a merely rhetorical but leads to a commitment to carbon neutrality for the city of York by 2030 and the exertion of pressure on national government to prioritise life and the living planet over profit. This has to be the beginning of meaningful climate action in York."

Mark Matthews added: "All around the world people are already suffering and dying from the effects of climate breakdown. These effects will only continue to get worse if we do not tackle the climate crisis we are living in. While we recognise that we can’t solve these problems on our own we all must contribute and do as much as possible to avert the worst effects of climate breakdown. All around the world people are rising up, as was most recently shown by the youth strike in York, and demanding action to ensure a future and habitable planet for all. York is no exception in having to play its part and we call on the council to lead and take real meaningful action to reach carbon neutrality as quickly as possible."

Extinction Rebellion believe that, although local councils are limited by austerity, they "still have a vital role to play in mitigating climate breakdown", and stated in their press release that "preventing climate breakdown requires action at all levels of society, which includes but is not limited to local government. We hope that in passing this motion the council will come together with the numerous other councils that have already passed similar motions to demand more from our national government which has for far too long refused to respond appropriately to the crisis we are in. This goes beyond demands for more funding to ensure that local councils can take the required actions, but that the national government tells the truth about the scale of the climate emergency and reverses its destructive policies that are killing people and the planet before committing to serious measures to tackle climate breakdown.

"Government inaction at the national level means that we are even more reliant on local government to be leaders in the struggle to tackle climate breakdown. We elect local representatives and leaders to work for us to better our local communities and we demand that the council not only pass this motion but that they take the concrete actions necessary to make York carbon neutral by 2030, making York a real leader in efforts to tackle climate breakdown."

Featured Image Credit: Veda Kohli