#NowWeRise: thousands to join protests across Britain on Global Day of Action for climate justice

Photos from demonstrations in London, Edinburgh and Cardiff will be available from approximately 15:00 on Google Drive and at @CJ_Coalition on X/Twitter throughout the day.

Thousands of people are expected to join protests across Britain and Ireland today (Saturday 9 December) on the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice.

With political leaders assembled in the UAE for the UN’s climate negotiations at COP28, a wave of global mobilisations will take place this weekend as demonstrators demand urgent action to tackle the climate crisis. Across Britain and Ireland, more than 45 demonstrations and events will take place in towns and cities including London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Birmingham, Belfast, Dublin, Newcastle, Sheffield, Bournemouth, Plymouth – and many more.

The mobilisations come midway through a COP process rife with controversy amid criticism over the role of Sultan al-Jaber, chair of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, as COP28 President, and the record number of fossil fuel representatives at the summit.

Demonstrators will call for political leaders at COP28 to commit to a rapid, just and equitable phaseout of all fossil fuels, and call out the climate hypocrisy of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. While lauding Britain as a ‘world leader’ on climate, his government plans to approve 100 new licences for oil and gas exploration – including the Rosebank oil field which, if burned, would be equal to the annual emissions of 28 poorest countries combined.

On this Global Day of Action, over 300 mobilisations for climate justice will take place across four continents and at least 50 countries – including at the COP28 venue in the UAE. Across the world, groups will unite under the banner of climate justice and with the demand for an immediate, permanent ceasefire and end to the siege in Gaza.

Many planned actions in Britain will link up with local protests calling for a permanent ceasefire and end to the siege in Gaza. In London, demonstrators will be invited to march together to join the National March for Palestine after a rally outside the headquarters of BP – which recently signed new gas exploration licences off the coast of Gaza with Israel. And, at 15:30 local time, COP28 delegates will join a march calling for an immediate ceasefire.

The Day of Action is coordinated by the Climate Justice Coalition, with actions organised alongside a broad range of national and local climate organisations, community groups, faith groups, trade unions and activists.

Angus O’Brien, Coordinator at the Climate Justice Coalition, said:

“The crises we face today are interconnected. Catastrophic global heating is fueled by the same unjust global systems failing to prevent the genocidal violence being perpetrated in Gaza. Today, we stand united as climate activists in the demand for an immediate ceasefire, and an end to the blockade and colonisation of Palestine.

“In every corner of the planet, the story is the same: those who bear the least responsibility pay the highest price, while those who fuel the flames make record profits and further increase their wealth.”

Tyrone Scott, Senior Movement Building and Activism Officer at War on Want and the Climate Justice Coalition, said:

“The world is at a tipping point. Climate catastrophe is already devastating the lives and livelihoods of people across the world and primarily those in the Global South, who are least responsible for causing it.

“We must uproot the systems of exploitation and oppression which keep the majority of the world’s population in poverty while lining the pockets of corporations and rich shareholders. 

“This is a watershed moment. How we respond will determine how the world is shaped for generations. We’re taking to the streets across the UK with one simple message: We demand an end to fossil fuels. We demand a fast and fair transition. We demand climate justice.”

Becky Kenton-Lake, from Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, said:

“Two years ago over 100,000 people took to the streets of Glasgow to tell world leaders at the COP26 climate talks they wanted action on the climate and nature emergencies.

“Since then, despite record breaking temperatures and increasingly devastating climate impacts, we have seen a lack of robust and urgent action to reduce emissions, protect nature, or make the biggest polluters pay for the damage they are causing.

“People in Scotland have been demanding climate and nature action for years, but temperatures and injustices continue to rise – so now we are rising. This event will give everyone the opportunity to send a strong message to decision makers and show that Scotland stands with other events around the world during the UN climate talks COP28.”

Miara Rabearisoa, who plans to attend the demonstration in Cardiff, said:

“I decided to attend the COP28 global day of action event in Cardiff this year for the voiceless Malagasy people. Climate change is severely affecting my country Madagascar where millions of Malagasy people are facing hardships such as famine and social tensions as consequences. The Malagasy people do not deserve this injustice. 

“We all live together on one planet; it is important that we look after each other and our environment. Let’s support each other for a fair and sustainable world.”

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Notes to editors:

  1. A map of all actions taking place across Britain and Ireland can be viewed at: https://climatejustice.uk/find-your-local-action/
  2. The Climate Justice Coalition is a multi-level coalition made up of environment and development NGOs, trade unions, grassroots community campaigns, faith groups, youth groups, migrant justice networks and more. The groups supporting actions on 9 December can be viewed at: https://climatejustice.uk/now-we-rise/
  3. Find out more about the Climate Justice Coalition: https://climatejustice.uk/who-we-are/