Statement following today’s meeting with Sadiq Khan

Our politicians’ legitimacy as leaders now rests on how they respond to the ecological and climate emergency.

Today, representatives from Extinction Rebellion – Hannah van den Brul of the London Development team, Sam Knights, Skeena Rathor and Farhana Yamin of the Political Strategy team – met with Sadiq Khan.

Sadiq Khan has already declared a Climate Emergency – thanks to the London Assembly urging him to. This is an important first step, but he needs to do more and in today’s meeting he recognised that. He said he will be a bolder champion of action on climate change in London and internationally, and agreed to explore the idea of a Citizens’ Assembly – our Demand 3 – by convening a meeting with academics, stakeholders and practitioners.

This is welcome – however, decisive and urgent action by politicians like Sadiq Khan and the UK Government is needed quickly. They already have the resources and the powers to act now.

This is just the start of our discussions. Politicians such as Sadiq need to describe the truth about the future Londoners face and to act on that truth with detailed plans and urgency. We look forward to hearing more from him.

Sam Knights, 22, said: “The context of this meeting is perhaps more important than the meeting itself. As we talked, we were all aware of the last two weeks of protest.

“These protests have seen tens of thousands of people out on the street, day after day, night after night. They have put their bodies on the line for climate and ecological justice, and focused all our minds in response to this emergency.

“All our politicians are now operating in a different political landscape, held to account by a generation that is demanding radical action right now. The low-lying island states are quickly vanishing underwater whilst indigenous tribes all across the world are on the brink of extinction. We owe it to them to act now. We can do so much better.”

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