COP26 Climate: East Kent Towns Rise To the Challenge

Activist gather in Sandwich with placards and banners to demand Climate Justice from COP26
Sandwich Climate Justice 5 November – photo provided by the author

Bonfire Night Special

To coincide with the UN’s COP26, local outdoor events took place in Deal, Dover and Sandwich for Bonfire night, Friday 5 November, after school.   

Deal

In Deal around 40-50 people turned out at Deal Station: people read poems. There was a ‘die-in’ and a  pop-up performance by the synchronised Green Barrows troupe of clean-up pilots. Janet Wakeman of Deal-based, East Kent Climate Action said:

“We’ve seen bonfires of forest fires and floods worldwide, caused by climate crisis. Chatham House risk assessment of September 2021 shows we are on course to miss the 1.5 degrees of warming, because a lack of international cooperation has us on course for 2.7 degrees. We’ve seen the predicted coastal changes this would bring to our Kent doorsteps.

“We were delighted to renew friendships and to make new contacts so that we can work to persuade Dover District Council to do much much more to protect our woodland carbon sinks.”

Climate Friday Die in at Deal Railway Station. Bodies lying on the ground, supporting banners showing reasons for extinction, including Pollutin, Climate Change and Habitat Loss.
Climate Friday Die in at Deal Station – photo supplied by the author

Dover

Liz Hayes of Transition Town Dover said:

“In Pencester  we met many climate-concerned residents, friends old and new. They brought songs and  banners and we shared our determination to call  for climate justice. We say, NO COP26 cop-out. We are doing what we can as individuals, but we need those with economic and government power to take much more real, honest action. Dover Disrict Council should bring forward the target date for a zero-carbon whole district. 2050 is decades too late.” 

Sandwich

Simon Dundas of Sandwich Environmental Conservation Group, “At Sandwich station we met many people of all backgrounds who really want to make a difference. Halving rail fares could make a dramatic reduction to Kent’s carbon footprint. Now more people are waking up at last to the critical tipping points we are reaching. This is affecting  millions across the world and thousands here in Kent also, where we’ve seen the maps of all the areas that will be under water by 2050 if those with the power don’t take serious action.” 

 Sharon Danby of East Kent Climate Action and Green Barrows said, “A real, honest, just transition would create well-paid jobs making homes, old and new, zero-carbon and cosy, lifting millions out of fuel-poverty. It would create jobs in community-owned renewables, in local, healthy food production and in better, cheaper public transport.” 

Elsewhere In Kent

There were family-friendly events in other towns across Kent: in Chatham, Faversham, Canterbury, Sevenoaks, Folkestone and elsewhere.  

London

Nationally, the COP26 Coalition Climate Justice March in London on Saturday 6 November brought out many from across Kent. Participants represented members of youth, faith, trade union, environmental and many other groups. Unite Community Kent and Medway Unison paid for a coach.

Demonstrators from Ramsgate, Dover, Canterbury and Rochester returned home on Saturday uplifted and with renewed determination to pester power to protect Kent’s coastline from rising sea levels. 


 Kent Climate Action Coalition was born on 31 August 2021,  website, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook links are to be found below.

Kent Climate Action Coalition website:

National COP26 Coalition