Hundreds of protesters set up 'climate camp'

Protesters who had gathered in small groups around the City descended on carbon trading body the European Climate Exchange on Bishopsgate, shutting off a stretch of road and pitching tents in a matter of minutes.

The climate campers are protesting against carbon trading, which they say is not an effective way to reduce greenhouse gases as it allows rich countries to carry on polluting while "offsetting" their emissions elsewhere.

They are also concerned about financial stimulus measures by the G20 nations to combat recession, because it will restore a growth economy which causes increased emissions.

On the eve of the G20 summit, environmental groups including Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and WWF warned that the leaders of the world's major economies risked missing a unique opportunity to tackle the recession and climate change simultaneously.

The environmental groups are calling for leaders to avoid a return to "business as usual", with investment in green measures such as low-carbon technology to boost jobs and slash the emissions which cause climate change.

In contrast to G20 protests elsewhere in the City, today's climate camp was peaceful throughout the afternoon, with police looking on as demonstrators took part in workshops, a farmers' market stall, music, giant boardgames and even meditation.

The climate campers, who decorated the street and their tents with banners, bunting and flowers, aim to stay in the Bishopsgate site for 24 hours, with bicycle-powered cinema and a ceilidh tonight.

Protester Richard Howlett said politicians had responded to previous camps at Heathrow Airport and Kingsnorth power station in Kent by claiming carbon trading would solve the problem of increased emissions from a new runway or coal-fired plant.

"Anybody with any common sense can see that we're not going to get ourselves on the low-carbon economy we need if we're building new runways and new coal-fired power stations," he said.

"Carbon trading has been the false solution that has been thrown at us when we've held previous camps and we want to tackle that head-on today.

"The other point we want to make is that the G20 is meeting up to shore up an economic system that has been disastrous in many ways; one way it guarantees to create disaster is the fact that it's got us on course for runaway climate change."

Another member of the climate camp, Kevin Smith, said the market-based approach of carbon trading to solving climate change had proven to be "spectacularly unstable and ineffective".

"We have such a limited window of opportunity to act on climate change; it seems really foolish that we're trying to do this big experiment because it fits with the free market ideology that's been so fashionable for the last decade," he said.

"The current economic model is based on infinite growth on an infinite planet, and to anyone with common sense that does not work."

Other climate protesters staged a demonstration near to the ExCel centre in London's Docklands, where tomorrow's G20 summit is being held.

The Campaign against Climate Change chose an iceberg sculpture to highlight the melting of Arctic sea ice, and called for global warming to be a top priority for politicians.

The group's national co-ordinator Phil Thornhill said: "Some of them want to put a lot of money into the global economy.

"The way to do that is to spend on the things we need to do to fight climate change and reduce emissions.

"There's loads of things that need doing, massive infrastructure projects, new grids, renewable energy, marine wind farms, tidal power which has huge potential, all of this could be green jobs.

"This is doing two things at once, it wouldn't just be putting the money into a black hole which they are now."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Clinical Lead / RGN

£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: IT Sales Consultant

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...

Recruitment Genius: Works Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Hire Manager - Tool Hire

£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is seeking someone w...

Day In a Page

Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests