Members of Extinction Rebellion King’s Lynn and West Norfolk group today submitted a petition to the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk demanding that they declare a climate emergency. The petition was submitted with 396 signatures.
The council will debate whether to declare a climate emergency on 17 October. Coming just weeks after parts of Hunstanton, Heacham and Snettisham were evacuated due to the risk of dangerous flooding, and parts of King’s Lynn were placed on high alert, the timing of the Council’s debate couldn’t be more important. North West Norfolk’s MP Sir Henry Bellingham recently agreed with climate protesters that West Norfolk is one of the most vulnerable parts of the country to the devastating impacts of climate change, because so much of the borough is at sea level. He also stated that the Council should be doing “much, much more” in the face of the climate emergency.
Given the climate risks faced by the borough, Extinction Rebellion believes that the council is failing in its duty to protect its residents and their property. The only responsible course of action is to declare a climate emergency, as over half the councils in the UK have already done, and take emergency measures to reduce the borough’s carbon footprint to zero as fast as possible.
The motion will be debated as the eyes of the world are focused on London (and 60 other capital cities worldwide), where thousands of Extinction Rebellion activists from around the country, including West Norfolk, will be carrying out acts of civil disobedience to demand emergency action from the government. Activists will also be holding a demonstration outside King’s Lynn Town Hall on October 17 , before and during the council meeting in which the climate emergency motion will be debated. We welcome members of the public to join us there.
Local Extinction Rebellion member Dr Charlie Gardner states “Parts of the borough were nearly flooded last week, and this is going to happen more and more frequently as the sea levels keep rising. If nothing is done, parts of West Norfolk will have to be abandoned. So climate change isn’t something that’s going to happen somewhere else, in the future – it’s already threatening us, and our property, here in Norfolk. And yet the leaders of the council don’t seem to care. We have been asking them to do something for months, but they have ignored us. They seem more interested in having an easy life than in protecting our borough, I think their behaviour has been utterly shameful.”