Extinction Rebellion (XR) groups in Dorset are urging Dorset Council to take action now over the climate and ecological emergency.

The council recently set-up a Climate Executive Advisory Panel to discuss plans for tackling climate and ecological issues. The panel has agreed to consult further with XR Dorset on producing a climate and ecological emergency action plan for Dorset.

However, the panel won’t meet again until mid-September, a delay that XR says is disappointing.

“An emergency means acting when it is necessary, not when it is convenient,” said Caz Dennett from Weymouth.

We recognise that the summer holidays can present challenges for organising meetings, but we understand Dorset Council doesn’t shut down in July and August. Therefore, it is not clear what would cause this delay.

We’re asking the council to arrange at least a preliminary meeting with all those available within the next 2-3 weeks. If we postpone until September, in reality this means we won’t start in earnest until October, potentially 4-5 months after the council declared a Climate Emergency. That degree of delay would not say ‘emergency.”

XR members from Bridport, Weymouth and Dorchester have offered the council a climate and ecological emergency planning day.

The aim is to provide a clear understanding of what the climate and ecological crisis means to Dorset and facilitate discussion and action planning as to how Dorset Council can reduce greenhouse gases and prevent further biodiversity loss.

We appreciate there is pressure on everyone’s time, however, if Dorset Council are serious about addressing the climate and ecological crisis that we are in, it must be the top priority,” said Sarah Churchill from Bridport.

We hope that Dorset Council will take the lead among local authorities and do what is necessary to reduce carbon emissions. This will mean telling the truth to residents about the situation we are in, setting a deadline for net zero carbon emissions and forming a citizens’ assembly for Dorset.”

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Extinction Rebellion is an international apolitical network using non-violent direct action to persuade governments to act on the Climate and Ecological Emergency.

Time has almost entirely run out to address the ecological crisis which is upon us, including the 6th mass species extinction, global pollution, and abrupt, runaway climate change. Societal collapse and mass death are seen as inevitable by scientists and other credible voices, with human extinction also a possibility, if rapid action is not taken.

Extinction Rebellion believes it is a citizen’s duty to rebel, using peaceful civil disobedience, when faced with criminal inactivity by their Government.

Extinction Rebellion’s key demands are:

  1. Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
  2. Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
  3. Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.