Campaigners planning huge Cardiff demo ahead of major climate summit
Alex Seabrook, local democracy reporter
Campaigners have begun organising a huge demonstration in Cardiff to coincide with a major climate summit later this year.
World leaders will meet in Glasgow this autumn for Cop26 to discuss their plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and tackle the climate crisis.
The UN-organised climate conference will be hosted by the UK, and runs from October 31 to November 12.
Cardiff is one of many cities where a mass rally is planned on November 6 to urge governments to act on limiting global temperature rises.
On Saturday, September 25, campaigners launched the Cardiff Cop26 Coalition hub to organise the demonstration, and called for more volunteers to help preparations.
Marla King, Cardiff Cop26 Coalition coordinator, said: “The connections between climate and social injustice are evident in Cardiff, permeating critical issues like healthcare, housing, education and job opportunities — and we know those who contribute the least to the climate crisis are actually the people experiencing the most detrimental impacts.
“The hub will bridge connections between these issues, bringing together trade unions, anti-racist and migrant rights advocates, youth, feminist groups, disability activists, faith groups and individuals.
“We’re calling for everyone to have their voice heard on November 6 when we assemble at midday at City Hall.”
‘Years of inaction’
The demonstration is planned to begin outside City Hall at 12pm and then march through the city centre, ending with a rally outside the Senedd. Local campaign groups involved in the Cop26 hub include Cardiff Green New Deal, Cardiff Civic Society, and local Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace groups.
After hearing from speakers, the launch event held in Bute Park also saw a family friendly scavenger hunt to raise funds for the recently vandalised park.
Dave Bartlett, secretary of Cardiff Trades Union Council, said: “Years of inaction show that we won’t get the radical action we need to tackle climate change without ordinary people getting directly involved.
“You can see the UK government’s priorities — they’re planning to use public funds to subsidise the big private energy companies even as they ramp up their prices for struggling consumers.
“We need a powerful movement, in which trade unions should play a leading role, to demand that big energy is nationalised so that we can rapidly transition to renewable energy while safeguarding jobs.
“We won’t get a fair price unless we get control of the industry. Everyone should join the protest on November 6 in order to build support for the radical change we need.”
The Cop26 Coalition is demanding investment in renewable energy, urgent action to limit global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees, cancellation of ‘Global South debts’, and grants from rich countries to people on the ‘frontline of the climate crisis’.
The Cardiff hub is planning a series of events in the run up to Cop26, including a litter pick with Cardiff Rivers Group on October 23.