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Green Party statement on Extinction Rebellion action at Ebley Mill, 6 February

As every new scientific study is published it becomes clearer and clearer that we are facing a climate emergency greater than we ever imagined. It is already leading to mass extinctions, forced migration and threats to our ways of life. We believe that this difficult message must be told plainly and clearly alongside information and actions to both radically reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and help us adapt to our changing future. We believe it is essential that all organisations work together to achieve this.

Stroud Green Party are proud that Stroud District Council is the first Carbon Neutral Council in Europe and is one of the first to declare a climate emergency and is making an extremely challenging commitment to lead the whole District to carbon neutrality by 2030. We commend the council officers, councillors and community supporters who are working actively to get action plans and partnerships in place to make this commitment a reality. Where Stroud leads, we hope others will follow.

In this context the Green Party are extremely disapointed that some members of Extinction Rebellion have targetted Stroud District Council offices and staff for not doing enough, including spraying the building with grafitti. Sadly this detracts from the Council’s important work in serving our community. It demoralises staff who are putting in extra time and energy to address our climate change commitment.

There are many corporations and organisations that are not changing to address the climate emergency that Extinction Rebellion and the rest of us should be challenging. We understand the urgency of the situation and share the belief that we must move beyond business as ususal. We hope that the individuals involved with Extinction Rebellion will choose to work constructively with Stroud District Council, one of the few organisations that really is trying to lead the changes needed. This is an emergency, we need to work together to address it.

Martin Whiteside and Kiera Jones – Joint Stroud District Green Party Coordinators