Chesterfield Extinction Rebellion protesters march through town centre holding coffin containing 'weeping Mother Earth'
Environmental campaigners marched through Chesterfield town centre holding a coffin containing a model of a ‘weeping Mother Earth’ on Saturday.
Extinction Rebellion activists performed a solemn ‘funeral march’ through Chesterfield on Saturday, July 17 - walking from Rykneld Square, through the market to the Town Hall.
The march was led by drummers as they carried a coffin containing a model of a ‘weeping Mother Earth’ and displaying animals on the verge of extinction.
Extinction Rebellion’s protest marked the two year anniversaries of Chesterfield Borough Council and North East Derbyshire Council’s declarations of a climate emergency.
The climate activists said scientific evidence and predictions point to whole species becoming extinct because of a lack of ‘urgent action’ to prevent pollution, loss of habitats and climate change.
Protesters also cited the recent wildfires and floods in Canada and Germany as evidence that the effects of global warming are worsening rapidly.
Becky Turner, who is a member of Extinction Rebellion Chesterfield said: “It’s two years since our local councils made their declarations.
“CBC “[Chesterfield Borough Council] said then that tackling the effects of climate change was a ‘key priority’ and promised leadership across the borough.
"Yet their website and actions are equally uninspiring, and they have not reported on progress against the targets they set.
“And NEDDC even rejected a motion to support the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill which is to be presented to Parliament.
"As Greta Thunberg says, ‘#Mind the gap’ between words and actions.”
Activist Stephanie Futcher, who is also part of the campaign group, added: “You can see what can be done in an emergency.
"Look at how the Winding Wheel is being used as a vaccination centre for Covid.
"That shows they really believe something needs to be done.
"Why can't the councils muster the same energy and creativity in response to a climate and ecological crisis which will soon wreak far greater havoc than Covid has done?
"Why aren't there posters everywhere and leaflets through every door, as there are for Covid?”
Councillor Amanda Serjeant, deputy leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, said: “Climate change and related environmental issues pose a very real threat to the future of our communities – and that’s why we declared a local climate emergency in 2019.
“We are fully committed to reducing the council’s carbon footprint, while supporting the borough as a whole to do the same. We have made strong progress against over 80 per cent of our priority actions over the past two years ago.
“We have committed more than £15m to our action plan and have already made significant progress, including reducing our energy usage, switching to a renewable energy supply, improving insulation in social housing, supporting energy efficiency improvements in the private housing sector and making sure climate change is a key consideration in all of the council’s policies and decisions.
“Tackling climate change is an urgent but complex issue and it’s something we can’t do alone. Every part of Chesterfield’s community has an important role to play to make a difference – and encouraging our residents, community groups and businesses to make changes will be an increasingly important focus as we move forward.
“I would encourage people to find out more about the action they can take, as well as what the council is doing, at www.chesterfield.gov.uk/climate-action-now.”