• Loading

Christian Aid 'choir' delivers climate justice message to Ed Miliband

An impromptu choir made up of Christian Aid climate justice campaigners sang a ‘Coal Kills’ message to Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband outside his offices this week.

They were taking part in a vigil calling on the government to impose a moratorium on building coal-fired power stations in the UK until all carbon emissions can be captured and stored from the outset.

Watch video

The demonstration was organised by the Stop Climate Chaos coalition, an umbrella body of more than 100 organisations with a combined supporter base of 11 million.

Other organisations represented included Greenpeace, Oxfam, RSPB, WWF and the World Development Movement.

Addressing the demonstrators, Ed Miliband said that he hoped Prime Minister Gordon Brown would attend in person the crucial UN climate summit in Copenhagen in December.

Christian Aid climate campaigner Laura Trevelyan said: ‘Coal is responsible for more than half of the carbon emitted historically.

‘The impacts of climate change caused by those emissions - floods, drought, and a higher incidence of disease - are already killing people in the developing world. Such communities have the least responsibility for global warming.

‘Ed Miliband appeared to understand the enormous threat that coal poses to our planet when he declared in the summer that ‘the era of unabated coal is over’. His current proposals, however, would still allow new coal plants to pump 75 per cent of their emissions into the atmosphere.

‘We need a cast iron guarantee that no new high-emission power plants will be built in the UK.  Anything less would be seen by the developing world as another signal that rich countries like the UK are not serious about tackling climate change.

‘Anything that helps support that impression will seriously damage the chances of the international community arriving at a meaningful climate deal in Copenhagen.’

Notes to editors

  • Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in nearly 50 countries. We act where the need is greatest, regardless of religion, helping people build the life they deserve.

  • Climate change is already depriving the poor in many developing countries of their livelihoods.  Christian Aid believes the battle against climate change is a key component in alleviating poverty.  We have a vision – an end to poverty.  Our new drive, Poverty Over, explains what we believe needs to be done – and can be done – to make that vision a reality.  A strong climate deal at Copenhagen is one essential.  Details at www.christianaid.org.uk  

  • Christian Aid is calling on Gordon Brown to attend the UN summit in person in December and to press rich countries to commit to at least 40 per cent carbon emission reductions by 2020.  It also wants the UK government, along with other developed nations, to commit the necessary support and resources, including technology transfers, to enable developing countries to reduce emissions, develop in a low carbon way and adapt to climate change. 

  • As the UK closes old coal-fired and nuclear power stations in the next decade, the capacity currently providing about a quarter of its electricity output will be lost. The government, however, has committed to European legal targets which require the UK to generate up to 40% of its electricity from renewables alone by 2020.  According to Europe’s leading independent energy experts, Poyry, if the UK was to hit these existing renewables and efficiency targets, there will be no ‘energy gap.’

Choir singers

Campaigners sing coal message to Miliband.

Watch video