With the third anniversary of their climate emergency declaration approaching, a coalition of climate protesters gathered outside Cornwall Council on Tuesday morning to wish them an unhappy birthday.
On 22 January 2019, Cornwall Council declared a climate emergency, with the aim to be carbon neutral by 2030, but Cornwall’s climate activists are not convinced they are doing enough or that they will achieve it.
Organised by the Cornwall Climate Action Coalition, protesters greeted councillors coming into work with a giant cake, cards, presents, and very unhappy birthday clowns. The protesters claimed the gifts contained guides and climate plan packs to guide the councillors in combating climate change—one was even addressed to Conservative council leader Linda Taylor. They also sang birthday songs with phrases such as “unhappy birthday, action now” and “climate catastrophe” added in.
Speakers discussed their disappointment with the council and anger as their business as usual approach continues to neglect the climate crisis. They spoke about the spaceport approved in 2019 estimated to produce 4,239 tonnes of CO2 each year and the subsidised flights between Newquay and London during the pandemic, which they recently apologised for.
Some protesters also suggested the council had no real plan for the climate crisis and had been producing “hot air” for the past three years.
The protesters sang unhappy birthday songs, staged a die-in, and later held a people’s assembly to discuss climate issues. XR banners and Penitents joined the protest as well as members from Greenpeace, Cornwall Quakers, and individuals carrying climate placards. The full council meeting went on as usual, with the protesters being well-received by drivers and local councillors.