Reports on recent and coming actions
Chesterfield Climate Strike
on Friday 20th September
(Report by Chesterfield Trades Council)
Huge thanks to everyone who helped to make the Chesterfield Climate Strike rally such a success and important step forward for the climate justice movement.
Firstly thanks to the school and college students who came along.
We reckon that we had representation from pretty much every secondary school in the Chesterfield as well as from Chesterfield College.
Particular thanks to the young children from Holme Hall Primary school.
They had been studying climate all week as a special topic and came out onto the streets to teach us all a lesson!
Thanks to all our speakers and especially the school students who spoke so eloquently about the need to save the planet.
Thanks to the members of Chesterfield Unite Community Branch who provided stewards for the march to help keep us all safe on the day.
We estimate that up to 500 people took part today which is great turnout for our town. So thanks to everyone who came along and participated.
From all the reports coming in it looks as if all of the mobilisations in Derbyshire today have been great, and nationally and globally it clearly has been a hugely significant day.
Special thanks due to Kays Electronics who provided the PA system for Free!!
Protest at Derbyshire County Council
on Wednesday 4th September
On Wednesday 4 September, a group of Extinction Rebellion (XR) protestors from Chesterfield, North East Derbyshire and the Peak District ‘sounded the alarm’ on climate change at a Pension meeting in Matlock.
Using bells, whistles and alarms, the group disrupted part of the of the Derbyshire Pensions and Investment Committee meeting to draw attention to the enormous climate risk of the Derbyshire Pension Fund’s £200 million investments in fossil fuels.
The group argues that it is both morally wrong and financially risky to invest in companies that are fuelling climate change.
Jackie Hopkinson from Chesterfield & N.E. Derbyshire said:
“This is a climate emergency. In July we had an emergency evacuation from Whaley Bridge due to extreme weather events. Nearly every district council in Derbyshire has declared a climate emergency and the County Council has also said they are serious about climate change. We need to keep fossil fuels in the ground, and not finance oil and gas companies to continue exploration for new supplies. Instead of risky fossil fuel investments our Pension Fund should invest in things like renewable energy and zero carbon housing, which will create green jobs and benefit people in Derbyshire.”
Earlier in the meeting representatives from the Derbyshire Pensioners Action Group, not part of the protest, had asked a public question about how the Committee intends to consult with members of the pension scheme about investments in relation to climate change, and how it intends to provide transparent information to pension members about a climate risk report due this Autumn.
The Committee's response was that they would table an initial climate risk report in December and then meet with interested parties then.
Sue Owen, a member of the Derbyshire Pensioners Action Group said
“Climate change is not only a global emergency but it is a very real risk to people’s pensions. Local Authority Pension Funds have a duty to address the climate risk of their investments and to consult with their members?”
Sue also noted that a recent report showed that BlackRock, the world’s biggest investor, had lost an estimated $90 billion over the last decade by ignoring the serious financial risk of investing in fossil fuel companies