Dorset Council declares climate emergency

Dorset Council declares climate emergency

Published by Maria Greenwood at 7:45am 16th May 2019. (Updated at 11:38am 16th May 2019)

Campaigners march through the streets.

Dorset Council has declared a climate emergency.

Environmental campaigners have been marching through the streets of Dorchester today in a bid to get Dorset Council to declare a climate emergency.

  • Campaigners staged a "die-in" outside the council's offices.
  • The protest coincides with the first Dorset Council meeting, where they will be asking an important question.
  • They want Dorset Council to declare a climate emergency.

Councillors voted 69 for to 2 against to declare the climate emergency at the first meeting of Dorset Council today.

Members of 'Extinction Rebellion in Dorchester and Weymouth' walked from Borough Gardens to Dorset Council's offices this morning.

They join 61 other councils across the UK that have also declared a climate emergency.

Dorchester campaigners stage a "die-in".


The march ended at Dorset Council's offices in South Walks house with what they call a "die-in". They say it shows the consequences of ignoring the environment.

A show of hands

Today's march coincides with the first council meeting for the new unitary authority. 

Emma Smart helped to organise today's protest. She said: "We have an Extinction representative that will be present at the meeting. They have an official slot in which they are allowed to make a statement.

"They're also going to ask a question of the council, and that simply is: Who here can raise their hands and deny that there isn't a climate emergency?"

climate change protest in Dorchester Extinction Rebellion
Climate change protest in Dorchester by Extinction Rebellion

MP's approved a motion to declare an environment and climate emergency on May 1st.

It was one of the key demands of activists Extinction Rebellion.

Extinction Rebellion with Matt Prosser
Extinction Rebellion with Dorset Council CEO Matt Prosser

Andy Smith from Extinction Rebellion in Dorchester and Weymouth told Wessex FM: 

"It's important that essentially everyone is on the same page. So if central government has declared a climate emergency then Dorset Council should follow suit.

"The best way to resolve any problem is to first admit that there is a problem, and that's the first step, and that's all we're after at this current moment.

"Ideally, change needs to happen ideally from the top as well as from the bottom. It's all very well people making small changes in their life to improve their carbon emissions but ultimately the government has to take radical action."

Extinction Rebellion protest at Dorset Council
Extinction Rebellion protest at Dorset Council

Extinction Rebellion protests caused chaos in London earlier this month, with hundreds of arrests. Some of those were from Dorset.





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