Disability Rights UK attends Climate Change event in London

Wed,26 April 2023
News Climate change Equality & Rights
Last week DR UK attended the Extinction Rebellion event in London called the Big one.

The four-day event that took place in London was attended by over 100,000 people who descended on Parliament square to talk, march, & to demand change when it comes to policy and action on climate change. The event saw an unprecedented number of groups uniting, including DR UK who were there to campaign on the issue around Climate Change and Disability.

Also in attendance were representatives from Greenpeace, Just Stop Oil, Friends of the Earth, and many other smaller and worldwide activists.

Extinction Rebellion who oversaw the event made sure that the weekends various peaceful activities were inclusive as possible with accessible toilets, British Sign Language interpreters, charging points for power chairs/scooters and wellbeing stewards. Families were encouraged to attend as Extinction Rebellion empathised the use of peaceful, family friendly nonviolent tactics over the four days.

Attending from DR UK was policy and campaigns officer Dan White who leads a new global disability climate change coalition. Dan took to both the Greenpeace and Extinction Rebellion stages to talk about the need to engage the Disabled community in the climate change conversation, Dan said:

“Being given the opportunity to speak on both stages over the weekend to such a huge, beautiful, diverse crowd was wonderful.

It is a tragedy that Disabled people are being ignored by governments around the world when it comes to the climate crisis, even though they are particularly at risk from the impacts of extreme weather.

The UK Government have even acknowledged that to date, very little work has explored issues around people with disabilities and resilience-building in the context of longer-term climatic and environmental change, and even the UN have acknowledged that people with disabilities are at increased risk of the adverse impacts of climate change – including threats to their health, food security, water, sanitation, and livelihood.

Climate change threatens the very lives and existence of Disabled people worldwide. We are deeply concerned about global warming and the absence of Disabled people from decision making.

Disabled people must be involved in all debates and in shaping solutions. Representatives from the global Disabled community must be at the table when environmental solutions are being developed and implemented. The needs of Disabled people must be addressed in all climate change discussions and all environmental solutions must be designed to be accessible for us all.”

For more information on climate change visit our policy page on the Disability Rights UK website.