While there are many stories that could be told about the Global Day of Climate Action, I would like to talk about the rising star of climate campaigning: non-violent direct action, or NVDA.

Today campaigners in over 40 countries marched in a global effort to increase government action on climate change. Climatico had half-a-dozen analysts on the ground to report on the action.

After much walking, chanting, drumming, and shivering, our estimated 10,000-strong battalion of climate marchers rounded the corner into Parliament Square. After a few speeches and some music, we were greeted with two quotes:

“Direct action is the last resort of democracy”

“If you’re a young person looking at the future of this planet and looking at what is being done right now, and not done, I believe we have reached the stage where it is time for civil disobedience to prevent the construction of new coal plants that do not have carbon capture and sequestration.”

Any guesses as to who these were credited to?

Parliament Square by Dominic Rowland

Nope, not a bunch of eco-hippies, but Oscar Wilde and Al Gore (though I can’t find a source for the first).

Later, we heard from John McDonnell, the MP whose constituency includes Heathrow Airport, who gave a rousing speech in which he pledged to participate in NVDA if the government approved the plans to build a third runway at Heathrow.

Finally, Caroline Lucas MEP, came up on stage, inviting us all to a “tea party” (read sit-in) at Heathrow Terminal One.

So we have high-profile politicians calling for NVDA, a situation which is unlkely to have happened without the game-changing court verdict regarding the Greenpeace protesters at Kingsnorth. But will it work? Well there certainly seem to be a lot of people that hope so!

Now I would like your input: Is the growth of climate-related NVDA a UK-only phenomenon, or is this a global trend? And do you think that it is an effective mechanism for increasing government action? Leave your comments below…

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