Richmond environmental campaign group holds peaceful vigil outside Kew Gardens as US diplomat gives climate talk

  Posted: 21.07.21 at 14:47 by Jessica Broadbent

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A Richmond environmental activism group held a peaceful vigil at Kew Gardens yesterday, July 20, as an American diplomat gave a high-profile speech on the climate crisis.

Extinction Rebellion Richmond stood outside the Elizabeth Gate yesterday as John Kerry, the US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, gave a speech on the urgency of global climate action.

He said: “The climate crisis is the test of our own times.

“This test is now as acute and as existential as any previous one.”

Environmental activists including Extinction Rebellion Richmond say that the steps proposed are not urgent enough.

Some took to Twitter to point out that Kerry has his own private jet, an ideological clash while talking on tackling global emissions.

Sadiq Khan and John Kerry at the event (Image: Mayor of London Twitter)

Extinction Rebellion Richmond is demanding that the US and the UK lead the way to a fossil-free future and decarbonise now.

They said: “Despite election pledges to act urgently on the climate crisis, President Biden’s administration has approved fossil fuel drilling permits on public and tribal lands at a faster rate than either of his predecessors, and is propping up the dying tar sands industry by continuing to allow construction of the Line 3 pipeline through the treaty territory of Anishinaabe peoples in Minnesota.

“Meanwhile, the UK government is considering construction of a large new oil field in the Cambo Field, West of Shetland, which would be a devastating failure of UK climate leadership in the lead up to COP26 in Glasgow this November.”

When asked about the plans for Cambo Field, Mr Kerry said that the UK government needs to “measure the need [for a new oil field] very very carefully. Starting now the IEA tells us we do not actually need new investment in oil, coal or gas production.”

Extinction Rebellion has said that: “The United States and the United Kingdom must demonstrate true climate leadership ahead of crucial negotiations at COP26 by ending support for all fossil fuel projects.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan was in the audience yesterday.

He said: “Recent events around the world have shown the need to take bold, global action on the climate emergency in order to save lives, livelihoods and our environment.

“It was a pleasure to speak with @JohnKerry today, and discuss the US and London's shared commitment on this.”


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