Extinction Rebellion activist interrupts Glasgow City Council meeting to demand they declare a Climate Emergency
February 05, 2019
Guy Bowen interrupted a Glasgow City Council meeting today at 1.45pm to demand that council members declare a Climate Emergency.
The Council Environment, Sustainability and Carbon Reduction City Policy Committee has been meeting since mid-2017 to discuss the establishment of a Climate Emergency Working Group. Guy Bowen commented: ‘The world is facing devastating impacts from accelerating climate change, but the Council have been meeting for 18 months and they are STILL drafting terms. Where is the urgency?’
In his speech, the Extinction Rebellion Glasgow activist told the meeting: ‘This great city is going to be under water within a generation.’ He added, ‘Everyday adults and children in our city are being poisoned in Scotland’s most polluted street, Hope St, but we’re having to wait 3 years for a low emission zone to be fully implemented. Your 2037 carbon neutral commitment is too little, too late.’
Mr Bowen called on the meeting to follow the example of 23 local authorities in England and many more across the globe, by being the first Scottish authority to declare a climate emergency with immediate effect, committing to net zero carbon by 2025. Extinction Rebellion Glasgow wrote to all members of Glasgow City Council on 13th December 2018 asking that they make a Declaration of Climate Emergency. According to an Extinction Rebellion Glasgow spokeswoman, no response from Glasgow City Council has been received as of yet.
He also demanded that planning for the impending climate disasters should take place in an open and public forum, with a Citizen’s Assembly, as demonstrated in the Scottish Parliament on Friday 25th January 2019. 
Guy Bowen’s Speech was livestreamed on the Extinction Rebellion Scotland Facebook page.
After initially telling Mr Bowen to sit down, and some leaving the room because of the disruption, the remaining committee members listened to Mr Bowen’s speech. Although the chair commented that ‘it’s not the done thing to interrupt meetings’, the committee then invited representatives from Extinction Rebellion Glasgow to join the climate emergency working group, with the first session scheduled for 26th February 2019.
Extinction Rebellion Scotland is part of a worldwide movement demanding urgent action from the Government on the climate and ecological emergency.
QUOTES: Guy Bowen’s speech at the City Chambers today in full:
‘We are here today to tell you that urgent and radical action is needed now.
We have come to this meeting to highlight the fact that climate breakdown is going to destroy this city, devastating our generation and any future generations that may or indeed may not come.
These impending ‘disasters’ you will be discussing as part of the climate emergency working group – such as infectious diseases, extreme weather, chemical or radioactive leaks, biodiversity and species loss, mass human displacement and the expectation of many climate refugees – are all caused by climate breakdown.
Everyday adults and children in our city, are being poisoned in Scotland’s most polluted street, Hope St, where we’re having to wait 3 years for a low emission zone to be fully implemented. Where is the urgency? Your 2037 carbon neutral commitment is too little, too late. We demand that you commit to net zero carbon by 2025.
According to the Climate Ready Clyde report, this great city is going to suffer major flooding, storms and drought by 2050, with some of the poorest areas of Glasgow the first to be hit.
This great city is going to run out of food within a decade.
This great city is going to be under water within a generation.
This committee for the ‘ESTABLISHMENT OF A CLIMATE EMERGENCY WORKING GROUP’ was formed 18 months ago and you are STILL drafting terms. Where is the urgency?
We need you to act now. Where the Scottish Government is not, we need you, our city council to step up.
We are here today to demand you follow the example of 23 local authorities in England and many more across the globe, by being the first Scottish authority to declare a climate emergency with immediate effect, committing to net zero carbon by 2025.
We are here also to demand that you talk about the planning and reactions to the impending disasters in an all-inclusive, open and public forum, with a citizen’s assembly as was demonstrated in Scottish Parliament on Friday 25th January 2019.
We demand that you walk out of this meeting today and tell the residents of Glasgow in plain language of the grave dangers we all share, with the uncontrollable and inevitable impending crises that we are accelerating towards. The truth that our very being is in serious danger.
We want you out on the streets with us – sending the government a message, with us – demanding change, with us – with the young, the old, the rich, the poor, the black and the white. It’s difficult to imagine what will happen if we do not do enough, quick enough.
This is a global emergency.
You know it – we know you know it.
Our grandparents sacrificed their lives to save us from fascism –
They gave their lives for our liberty and our prosperity.
And now, we too must act.
We are rebelling.
We are Extinction Rebellion and we WILL be on the right side of history.
Please. Everyone here. Start telling the truth. Join us!’
 On the 25th of January XR Scotland made history by peacefully taking over the Debating Chamber of the Scottish Parliament to stage a Citizens’ Assembly on the Climate Crises. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jan/25/extinction-rebellion-activists-occupy-scottish-parliament