Crowds gathered in Huddersfield town centre on the weekend to launch Kirklees emergency climate campaign.

Activists, trade unionists and Councillors battled the cold in a protest on Market place on Saturday afternoon to raise awareness about the environment, pollution and climate change.

Messages and notice boards were held in light of the campaign, one placard reading: “We have 12 years to limit climate catastrophe” while another said: “All we want for Xmas is a safe climate for our children.”

Labour Councillor Erin Hill, holding baby son Michael in a sling, said: “I have been a Labour councillor for five years and far too often it’s been really easy to think that there’s not much we can do and that we are at the whim of national and international governments…and there really not a lot that we can do.

“But this Climate Emergency campaign is something concrete that we can do.”

She added: “It’s very easy sometimes to think about climate change as something that’s far too big for any of us to do anything about alone; certainly that has occurred to me in the past.

“But actually this is something that we can do and can make a real difference.

Labour Councillor Richard Murgatroyd said: “We are here to make a statement about declaring a Climate Emergency in Kirklees as part of a global movement to do something real about the threat of climate change.”

The protest was supported by other councillors include the Green’s Andrew Cooper.

The campaign is calling on Kirklees Council to adopt Climate Emergency Motion aimed at taking action to reduce carbon emissions in Kirklees.

In October the world’s leading climate scientists warned there is only 12 years for global warming to be kept to a minimum of 1.5C, beyond which even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of floods, drought and poverty for many millions of people worldwide.

The United Nation’s Panel on Climate Change has recently said that we have 12 years to make the necessary changes to limit a rise in global temperatures to 1.5c.

Failure to act will threaten the well-being of people in Kirklees and all over the world. Inevitable consequences will include extreme and abrupt changes to weather patterns, crop failures, extinction of plant, insect and animal species and economic disruption and crisis.

“Right now, we are facing a man-made disaster of global scale. Our greatest threat in thousands of years. Climate change. If we don’t take action, the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon. The world’s people have spoken. Their message is clear. Time is running out.”
(Sir David Attenborough, 3 December 2018)