UK co-ops urged to join Climate Strike

'We're standing in solidarity with young campaigners, who are the co-operators of the future'

Next Friday (20 September) sees the latest round of action in the battle against climate change, and the UK co-op sector has been urged to join the effort.

The Climate Strike calls on people around the world to leave their homes, jobs and schools to sound the alarm and demand an end to the age of fossil fuels.

It is a call to disrupt “business as usual”, to put pressure on governments around the world to take more action to cut greenhouse emissions.

The UK protest is on 20 September, while strikes are being carried out worldwide from 20-27 September.

Sector apex body Co-operatives UK is joining the Manchester protest, with a march gathering at the city’s Central Library at 10am.

It says: “We’re encouraging our members and the wider co-op movement to back the millions of young people sounding the alarm to governments globally that ‘business as usual’ on climate change isn’t good enough.” 

The organisation is inviting other co-ops in Manchester and the north west to join its team for the march, or to take part in protests elsewhere in the country.

The strike has been organised by the UK Student Climate Network, which said: “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change releases reports every six years on the severity of our impact on the planet. The IPCC’s latest report confirms the suspicion that many held: we are not taking action fast enough.

“Even if we halve emissions in twelve years and reach net zero by 2040, the earth will still warm by 1.5°C. This temperature increase will still expose 383 million people to water scarcity and leave Coral Reefs at a 76% risk of a devastating Marine Heatwave.”

Related: What are co-ops doing for the environment?

Ed Mayo, general secretary of Co-operatives UK, said: “Co-ops have always been at the forefront of climate change activism, and we’re standing in solidarity with young campaigners, who are the co-operators of the future. 

“We know that not every worker will be able to strike, but we urge co-ops to support this global activity if they can. Take action in your workplace or community, pledge to help the environment through reducing plastic waste, for example, or share messages of support on social media. 

“We’re raising our voices alongside an army of young people, so that government can no longer continue to ignore the climate emergency.”

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