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Youth-led day of climate action planned for Bangor

01 Dec 2023 4 minute read
Bangor’s Cop 26 Demo

North Wales Climate Action is set to host a climate event to provide an opportunity for young voices to raise their concerns about the current climate emergency.

COP28, the annual meeting of world leader to address climate change is currently taking place in Dubai (30 November – 12 December) and the event, scheduled for 9 December is part of a global Day of Action.

Bangor’s has been organised by North Wales Climate Action, an umbrella organisation of several groups taking action over the climate crisis including Divest Gwynedd, North Wales Africa Society, Christian Aid, Friends of the Earth, Climate Cymru, Extinction Rebellion Bangor, and GwyrddNi.

COP meetings are designed for world nations to agree ways to limit long-term global temperature rises to no more than 1.5C, which is said to be critical to limit the most severe impacts of climate change and for a liveable future on earth. 

As we near the end of what is likely to be the hottest year on record globally, the UN has warned that rapid and radical changes to the way we live are needed to keep to this limit.

The UAE is amongst the top oil-producing nations in the world, and the Chief Executive of the state-owned oil company Sultan al-Jaber will be president of the COP28 talks. 

North Wales Climate Action have said that this is particularly controversial given that fossil fuels such as oil and gas release carbon dioxide when they are burned for energy, making them the main driver of climate change. 

The UAE state oil company aims to nearly double its output by 2027. Leaked documents reveal that the UAE intends to use COP28 as an opportunity to discuss fossil fuel deals with 15 other countries.

Huge cost to Wales

COP28 is the 28th round of these annual climate negotiations. Despite this, there still hasn’t been an agreement from world leaders to phase out fossil fuels.

Young people are said to be facing the worst impacts of the climate and ecological crisis, and yet their voices are rarely heard. Politicians have been invited to the Bangor event to hear directly from young people.

The impact of climate change and extreme weather events are already being felt in North Wales. 23,244 Gwynedd residents live within a flood risk area. Over the next century, sea levels are expected to rise by 1.1m, and flooding already costs the Welsh economy £200 million per year.

The Bangor event will start with a banner making workshop at 1pm in Pontio Level 2, followed by a peaceful march at 2.30pm around the centre of Bangor to let others know we want action on the Climate Crisis now. At 3.30pm outside Pontio there will be speakers from the younger generation: 

Alison Shaw, retired science teacher, Conwy said: “2023 will be the hottest year on record. Climate breakdown is no longer a problem of the future: it’s happening now. Yet the corporations most responsible for this crisis keep posting record profits, paid for by us through our extortionate bills. And countries claiming to be ‘climate leaders’, including the UK, sign off plans to expand drilling for new oil and gas – adding flames to the fire and doing nothing to reduce the cost of living.”

She added: “As world leaders gather for a COP28 Summit presided over by an oil executive in the United Arab Emirates, I’m here to join with others globally to call for Climate Justice. COP28 is meant to be countries working for a global commitment to phase out coal, oil & gas in a fast & fair transition. If we’re to have any hope of a liveable planet and tackling the climate crisis, we must immediately reduce the use of fossil, yet our leaders are carrying on with business as usual.”

Helen McGreary, 48, dance teacher of Menai Bridge said: “It’s time to address the elephant in the room at COP28 – i.e. fossil fuels and the corrupt influence of fossil fuel companies. The evidence is clear: our climate is breaking down, and we must reduce fossil fuel use immediately.” 

She continued: “While profits for fossil fuel companies continue to rise, normal people’s energy bills rise. Meanwhile the poor countries of the world who did the least to cause climate change are bearing the worse of its effects. The oil companies are profiting while normal people at home and abroad pay the price. Temperatures are rising. Corporate profits are rising. Now we’re rising.”

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