Extinction Rebellion – NewCycling’s support statement

NewCycling fully supports Extinction Rebellion and will promote any events and actions they organise, with a focus on local ones happening in Newcastle and the North East.

Extinction Rebellion has three demands:

  • Tell the truth: Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate change and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change,
  • Act now: Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025
  • Beyond politics: Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizen’s Assembly on climate and ecological justice

This international apolitical movement started in October 2018 and “uses non-violent civil disobedience to achieve radical change in order to minimise the risk of human extinction and ecological collapse”.

At the heart of Extinction Rebellion, is the emergency to reduce carbon emissions in a speedy manner which requires national and local authorities to get on board and act NOW.

Transport is responsible for about a third of carbon emissions. Over the last few years, it has become apparent that there hasn’t been much progress to reduce transport emissions including those land based. Recent research shows that transport has become the biggest climate problem and a complete rethink of mobility and transport network and infrastructure is required. In cities, this includes switching private car journeys to cycling, walking and public transport.

The city reality sadly mirrors the global and national picture. The Newcastle climate change strategy indicates that emissions have decreased by about 29% from 2005 to 2015. However most reduction was achieved in the domestic buildings and industrial and commercial sectors, and transport related emissions have only decreased by 16%. More worryingly, the targets set by Newcastle City Council (currently under revision as a result of Newcastle City Council declaring climate emergency on 3 April 2019), show that amongst the projected 283 tonnes of CO2 reduced by 2030, only 16.5 tonnes are expected to come from the Transport sector.

So we believe now more than ever that we need to continue to campaign to change our city transport priorities and network. We have to accelerate the investment in and delivery of our cycling and walking infrastructure. We have to expand, modernise and decarbonise our public transport while making it affordable.

We hear about the air quality crisis, the public health crisis, the environmental crisis, every day, Without a planet, we have nothing. This is an emergency.

You can join the Extinction Rebellion local group here: https://rebellion.earth/act-now/local-groups/