September’s global temperature was the highest on record. Parts of the Arctic, Antarctic and Siberia experienced their highest temperatures, as did Europe. Wildfires, melting permafrost and thinning ice have been some of the consequences. 

The 2015 Paris Climate Agreement declared global temperatures must rise by no more than 1.5 °C yet, five years on, it seems this threshold will be exceeded. The time left to prevent a catastrophe more damaging to us than Coronavirus is fast running out.

In June 2019 Birmingham City Council declared a Climate Emergency and committed to producing a plan to go Carbon Neutral by 2030. Yet in October 2020, 16 months after that declaration, there still is no plan. Worse still, in recent progress reports, the council have indicated that they are looking to push their ‘net zero’ deadline back, possibly to beyond 2035. With the natural world already nearing an irreversible tipping point, such a delay could be extremely damaging, both to the local environment and the planet as a whole.

However, the timescale of Birmingham’s ‘Route To Zero’ is still up for discussion in the council; an official announcement is expected in December 2020.

Over the next couple of months, then, we have a unique opportunity to influence a policy which could have a massive impact for generations to come. Councillors will only be bold in their decision-making if they know the people of Birmingham are behind them. So it is absolutely crucial that we make our voices heard!

Extinction Rebellion was one of the key groups pushing for the declaration of a Climate Emergency and now we are stepping in again, pressing the council to honour its pledge through a range of synchronised campaigns. We want Birmingham to be a shining example of green development, not just to other local authorities but to the UK government as a whole… but we cannot make this happen on our own.

With YOUR help, we can steer the council in the right direction.

Citizen Involvement

The people of Birmingham must be properly consulted and involved in the radical changes that need to take place, yet we have only had an online survey and focus groups. Extinction Rebellion calls for a Citizens’ Assembly, in which ordinary citizens, selected by lottery, set the agenda for what needs to be done. The National Citizens’ Assembly reported recently and suggested many useful measures; this fully democratic approach could easily be replicated locally. BCC’s Route to Zero (R20) Climate Emergency Taskforce view has been dominated by a report from the hired consultants Anthesis, not by the environmentalists who attended or by the people of Birmingham.

How Can I Help?

There are various ways YOU can make a genuine difference, either on the streets or at home.

  • Contact your local councillors, encouraging them to vote for any measures that make the 2030 target permanent, and to compel their colleagues to do the same. We have a template available here if you’re unsure how to structure your message.
  • Join us as we take to the streets to demonstrate. Click the button below and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to find out how you can get involved in our upcoming actions. 
  • Raise awareness on your own social media platforms.
  • Contact local press to get the issue more widely noticed.

Together we can reclaim the spirit of emergency and start some serious Climate Action. Nature will not wait.

Council Inaction = Climate Disaster