Miliband urges campaigners to continue fight for climate justice

By agency reporter
July 14, 2009

The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Miliband urged people to continue to fight for climate justice at a rally in Doncaster at the weekend, emphasising the public’s ability to influence international green policies.

The call came ahead of the publication by the Energy secretary of the Government's latest plans on energy and climate change in the form of a White Paper on Wednesday.

The UK low carbon transition plan will outline how the UK will meet legally binding 'carbon budgets', requiring a reduction in emissions of 34 per cent by 2020 and at least 80 per cent by 2050.

Also being published are a low-carbon industrial strategy, a renewable energy strategy and proposals on low-carbon transport.

The "Climate Justice - Creation Care" event, organised by a coalition of organisations including Operation Noah, Cafod and Christian Aid saw over 500 campaigners march through Doncaster town centre and quiz Miliband on what he thought would happen at the UN climate change summit in Copenhagen in December.

"I think it's incredibly important that we show governments around the world that people really care about these issues and days like today are incredibly important” Miliband told the campaigners.

"I think we are winning the battle" Miliband added. "It is an uphill struggle, but I think it's a battle we can win and you are contributing to it by what you do today and what you are doing in your daily lives."

"I genuinely believe that people will make the difference to whether this challenge is tackled or not and I urge you to not succumb to the defeatism that says, ‘oh well, people can't make a difference in this, it's really about whether governments do their bit or not’.

“I think we need to keep up the good work between now and December if we are going to get the kind of ambitious deal on climate change that we need,” he added.

CAFOD launched its Climate Justice campaign in March 2009. Campaigners say that this year offers an unmissable opportunity to act against climate change when world leaders meet to hammer out a new global deal on climate change in December.

The charity is calling for the UK government to take a lead amongst European Union countries to push for a just and equitable deal at the Copenhagen meeting. They want richer countries, whose industries have prospered through carbon emissions, to take responsibility for cutting their emissions and provide poorer countries with the money and technology to adapt to climate change.

CAFOD Hallam’s manager and event co-organiser Angela Powell said: “People in Doncaster recognise their unique opportunity to hold local MP Ed Miliband to account as he is the Minister with responsibility for our environment and climate change.

“Climate change is an issue that affects everyone in the world. However, CAFOD works with some of the poorest people in the developing world and it is these families and communities that are already being hit the hardest by increasing droughts, floods and extreme weather caused by climate change.

“Many families in Doncaster have had first hand experience of local flooding and they are all too aware that people in poor countries are struggling because they have no insurance or alternative ways to earn money and survive when such extreme weather events happen in these already desperately poor areas.

“It’s vital we get people on board with fighting for climate justice – for many it’s a matter of life and death.”

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