By Huw Williams
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Bristol climate summit brings together radical fights

The most popular contributions were those that targeted the people at the top of society
Issue 2084
Around 100 people sat in an in-person climate summit meeting

A good turnout for the climate summit

The climate summit last Saturday in Bristol was a big success with over 250 people in attendance.

Climate activists were joined by trade unionists, anti-racist and social justice campaigners and ten organisations had stalls at the event. It was organised by Bristol Climate Justice Coalition with speakers including Jeremy Corbyn MP.

The most popular contributions were those that targeted the people at the top of society and the system as a whole. Every declaration of support for all refugees being welcome was met with big applause.

There were debates aired about how we argue the issue of jobs in industries connected to aviation and the arms industry—both big sources of employment in the city.

Suzanne Jeffery from the Campaign against Climate Change (CACC) said that responding to the climate emergency by, for example, retrofitting all homes would be a massive source of new jobs. She argued this was the way forward rather than expanding nuclear power, gas and aviation.

Workshops on “Just transition”, “War, militarisation and climate change” and “Climate justice and the global south” heard debates and speakers from War on Want, Global Justice Now and Stand Up to Racism.

Carla Denyer, co-leader of the Green Party spoke at the final plenary alongside climate strikers and XR youth activists.

There were also two excellent contributions from the Black and Green Ambassadors. This is an organisation designed to connect black people with the climate movement. Ujima radio station the main black station in the city ran a “Climate summit takeover” show throughout the event and interviewed many of those attending.

In the final plenary Lewis Nielsen from CACC got a fantastic response when he warned about how the government was using the crisis over Ukraine to push back on issues such as fracking.

And there was big support for his statement that how we get change comes from building mass movements on the streets and in the workplaces.

It was a fantastic event that opens up the possibility of building a serious coalition in Bristol with radical politics at its heart

  • Manchester Climate Justice Summit, Sun 15 May 12 noon -5pm, online on Zoom or in person at University of Manchester student union, Oxford Road, M13 9PR. For Zoom details and to book go to bit.ly/McrSummit

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