Statement from Extinction Rebellion on meeting with John McDonnell this morning

  • Extinction Rebellion also met with Jeremy Corbyn ahead of Opposition Debate in House of Commons tomorrow
  • Sue Hayman, Shadow Environment Secretary, was also in attendance

This morning, members of Extinction Rebellion met with shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer John McDonnell. The Labour Party has committed to engaging with Extinction Rebellion and its three demands:

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

Crucially, they acknowledged the failure of previous Labour Party policies to meeting the challenges we face, and have committed to the following:

John McDonnell will request that Extinction Rebellion present its case to the entire shadow cabinet on the climate and ecological emergency. He has also committed to presentations from us to the Shadow Environment Committee and the Shadow Treasury team.

However, John McDonnell did not commit to changing the proposed date in the Labour Party motion which currently aims to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, although he said will consider a new target of 2030. We also raised this with Jeremy Corbyn ahead of the debate tomorrow in the House of Commons.

We’re glad that John McDonnell listened to the urgency of our demands but we need our politicians to be more ambitious. Our children’s future is on the line. The International Rebellion will continue until politicians prove they are willing to act on all three of our demands.

We wait to see if the Labour Party will act with the courage and determination needed in this moment.

Savannah Lovelock, 19, dance student, a co-ordinator of Extinction Rebellion Youth, said:

“I’m pleased with discussions that took place today and that we were met at the appropriate level by John McDonnell. However, I am still yet to see politicians listen to young people and do everything within their power to protect our future.”

Representatives from Extinction Rebellion who attended the meeting were:

  • Savannah Lovelock, 19, dance student, Extinction Rebellion Youth
  • Sarah Lunnon, 54, former Green party county councillor for Stroud and member of the Extinction Rebellion Political Strategy Team
  • Skeena Rathor, 42, Labour member of Stroud District Council and member of the Extinction Rebellion Political Strategy Team.

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