Supporting Fridays for Future

Greta Thunberg addressed rally outside Sweden’s parliament in Stockholm as Fridays for Future resumed on 25 September. She told reporters that “The main hope is, as always to try and have an impact on the level of awareness and public opinion so that people will start to become more aware.”

The demonstration was one of some 2,500 climate change actions across the world aimed at restarting Fridays for Future protests that have been interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. One such action was held in Skipton on Friday morning when supporters of Skipton and Dales XR rallied outside the town hall with posters and publicity in support of the Global Day of Climate Action. Supporters of ACE Settle and area linked up ‘virtually’ with the action between 10.00 a.m. and noon via zoom.

On the same day, local trade unionists joined a campaign against plans to expand the Leeds-Bradford International Airport, which they warn will wreck Leeds Council’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions. The airport operators have applied for planning permission to add a second terminal which if approved would increase passenger numbers from four million a year to seven million.

Leeds Trades Union Council vice-president Kevin Pattison welcomed last year’s “climate-change emergency declaration” by the city council, committing itself to ensure that Leeds becomes carbon-neutral by 2030, but warned that the increase in flights would generate a rise in greenhouse-gas emissions so vast that it would cancel out the city’s green initiative.

“The carbon budget for Leeds has been carefully planned by Leeds City Council in conjunction with climate specialists at Leeds University and would be entirely cancelled out if this application were to be supported by the council,” Mr Pattison said.

According to media reports, Leeds-Bradford International Airport recently made 25 per cent of its 400-strong workforce redundant due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Nine months ago, senior councillors approved plans to cut the council’s carbon footprint by more than half following council’s climate emergency declaration the previous March. These new proposals mean that the City Council plan to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions from 70,000 to 31,000 tonnes by 2025, in line with science-based carbon reduction targets.

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