East Sussex’s County Hall encircled with ‘climate crime scene’ tape

Campaigners encircled East Sussex’s County Hall in ‘climate crime scene’ tape before a county council meeting this week.

Thursday, 9th December 2021, 2:39 pm
County Hall in Lewes is encircled in 'climate crime scene' tape (Photo by Emily Mott)

Organised by Divest East Sussex and XR Lewes, the demonstration culminated in a ten-minute mass noise using whistles and drums to ‘make a noise that the council won’t be able to ignore’.

Groups have spent the last few years urging ESCC to divest the East Sussex Pension Fund from fossil fuel investments but to no avail.

They have also raised concerns that the county council is not going fast enough in its plans to reduce its own carbon emissions.

A spokesperson for Divest East Sussex said: “By clinging on to its investments in fossil fuel companies, East Sussex County Council is effectively providing a fig-leaf for these companies’ ongoing attempts to block effective climate action.”

They went on to describe how with the opportunity to limit global warning to 1.5ºC was ‘rapidly closing’ and felt it was time for ESCC to ‘finally get serious about the climate crisis and commit to fully divesting local people’s pensions from fossil fuels’.

A spokesperson for XR Lewes added: “In October we visited the offices of the council with our climate fudge cake, to plead with them to take swift, meaningful action to fulfil their own promises.

“Inside the chamber, councillors were busy torpedoing a proposal to support the Climate and Ecological Emergency (CEE) Bill, a groundbreaking piece of environmental legislation. We need strong, imaginative leadership to tackle the greatest crisis humanity has ever faced. Instead, we get political skullduggery. This is not acceptable. We’ll be back in the New Year. And we’ll continue to come back until you show you can be the leaders we need you to be.”

The protest was supported by Brighton & Hove Friends of the Earth, Frack Free Sussex, Hastings Green Party, Lewes Green Party, Lewes Labour Party, Lewes Liberal Democrats, Transition Town Hastings, XR Eastbourne and XR Hastings & St Leonards.