In the lead up to the United Nations’ talks in Copenhagen in December, one Dalston resident is seeking to get climate change on the local agenda.
Lynn Chambers explains why and how she is joining Climate Camp‘s week of direct action, which starts this week, Thursday 27 August.
How long have you been a climate change activist?
This is my ‘Camp for Climate Action’ debut.
I’ve been campaigning environmental issues for a while now, but it’s only the last 3 months that I’ve been involved with Climate Camp and will be the first time I’m taking part in direct political action.
Why are you taking part in this week long protest?
In December of this year the Copenhagen Climate summit will be taking place where leaders from the richest (and highest carbon emitting) countries will be getting together to negotiate a new agreement to tackle climate change.
I feel it’s my duty to camp this week and make a lot of noise about the false solutions that are currently being offered.
Talk of carbon off-setting and carbon capture and storage are purely mechanisms to continue ignoring the root problem.
The financial and environmental crises are one and the same problem and we need social change to tackle them together.
What evidence of climate change or environmental damage more generally do you already see in Hackney, or London more broadly?
Climate Change is something that will affect the poorest countries in the world first.
If we waited to see what damage climate change would have at a local level we would have allowed devastating consequences to take place in other parts of the globe first.
How green is Hackney as compared with other boroughs? – what more can be done?
The recycling facilities for a resident are okay but it would be great to see an improvement in cycle lanes and also greater allotments.
I’d very much like to see the council back a campaign for Hackney to be plastic-bag-free which is happening already in quite a few other boroughs already.
Have you encountered problems with the police during previous protests, and are you concerned about what might happen during the climate change week?
I was at the G20 and found the police force and tactics to be inexcusable.
I am hoping lessons have been learnt from this experience.
Climate Camp has an excellent media and documentary team who will be on site to capture any activity that is questionable.
Are you camping with fellow Dalston residents?
I hope so! The camp is divided into a map of various neighbourhoods (London, Oxford, Yorkshire, Manchester etc).
Each neighbourhood will have their own daily meetings and kitchen area and so I’ll have lots of opportunity to meet more Hackney residents within my ‘hood…
What do you think is the most important thing in tackling climate change?
The main way we can reduce the effects of climate change in the future is to invest in green energy now.
The plans for airport expansion and new coal stations seem just ludicrous.
The recent closure of the only wind turbine factory in the UK (Vestas) is a very depressing sign.
The Government should be representing the needs of the British public, not protecting commercial industry.
What do you see the future looking like in 50 years time?
If the Government doesn’t act now, then very bleak.
In my ideal world solar panels are on every house, wind farms grace the UK countryside, all major city centres operate car-free and every school has an allotment garden.
Have you got the support of local politicians?
Meg Hillier is my local MP, I’ve not heard her comment on the Camp for Climate Action.
There are however some London based MPs who are interested in acting as legal observers at camp which shows support of our right to protest.
How will you spend your time during the protest?
Apart from helping out in the vegan kitchen and contributing cycle power on our bicycle generators I’m also looking forward to the variety of workshops scheduled.
Beginning at 8am through till 8pm there will be a series of daily workshops enabling people to debate and discuss all manner of issues concerning climate change.
The schedule can be found on our website and also includes practical sessions and activities for children.
How will you cook, clean and wash?
There will be solar showers and water-efficient wash areas to keep campers clean, and we will be using a combination of gas burners and rocket stoves (made from old oil drums) to cook in the kitchen.
The London Kitchen have also prepared home-made surface cleaning solution (vinegar, baking soda, hot water and tea tree oil) to ensure we are practising a strictly hygienic (but environmentally friendly) operation.