Some 10,000 people protested in London on Saturday of last week as part of a global day of action against climate change.
Demonstrators demanded a stronger climate change bill from Brown’s government that would set a cap on all emissions – including those from aviation.
People travelled from across Britain to join the protest, which was organised by the Campaign Against Climate Change.
The march ended outside the US embassy with a rally. Speakers included campaigning journalist George Monbiot, Michael Meacher MP and Respect councillor Rania Khan.
Miranda Nickerson, a student at Reading university, told Socialist Worker, “We’ve brought a coach of 50 students to the demonstration. It’s important to get lots of people out”.
Muzammal from the London Islamic Network agreed. “People can feel disempowered when they just take personal actions to try and stop climate change,” he told Socialist Worker.
“But when we come together like this it makes us realise that we are part of a much bigger movement.”
Many protesters felt frustrated that green noises being made by the government weren’t translating into concrete policies.
Nick had travelled to the demo from Oxford as part of a CWU post union delegation. “If Brown was taking this seriously he wouldn’t be doing a lot of the things that he is doing,” he said.
Meanwhile talks are being held in Bali, Indonesia, to discuss a new pact to succeed the Kyoto climate change treaty, which expires in 2012.
None of the proposals being discussed match the scale of the problem, but the US in particular is creating further obstacles. It has dismissed proposals to cut emissions in the developed world by 25 to 40 percent by 2012 as “unrealistic”.
The government in Britain is not as green as it tries to appear. Industry secretary John Hutton grabbed the headlines early this week when he talked of a huge expansion in wind power.
But he did not actually announce the building of wind farms – merely a survey of national waters.
Meanwhile, the official figures for Britain’s carbon dioxide emissions were described as an “illusion” this week in a report from Oxford university.
The figures do not include emissions from aviation and international trade. Once these are included, Britain’s annual emissions are up by 19 percent since 1990.