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Climate change expert calls for end to politicians' 'greenwash'

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Climate change expert calls for end to politicians' 'greenwash'

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Published by Hannah Wooderson for 24dash.com in Environment and also in Central Government

Climate change expert calls for end to politicians' 'greenwash' Climate change expert calls for end to politicians' 'greenwash'

A leading climate change scientist today called for an end to "greenwash" from politicians who pretended to be concerned about global warming while failing to take action.

Dr James Hansen, head of the Nasa Goddard Institute for Space Studies, told campaigners at a rally in Coventry that governments should take decisive action against climate change and end their reliance on coal power.

Speaking inside Coventry cathedral he said: "Leaders expected to have long-term vision are failing to lead. Scientific reality is denied by the greedy and the ignorant.

"Greenwash is now the greatest threat. It is a pretence of understanding and a pretence of action.

"We can not be fooled. Kyoto was a fig leaf covering increased emissions. We must not accept the tricks of goals and caps with escape hatches."

Dr Hansen joined a day of action organised by Christian Aid, Cafod, the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition and the World Development Movement on global warming.

Organisers estimate that 1,200 campaigners attended the protest, which aims to highlight the plight of millions of poor people in developing countries who are already suffering from the effects of climate change, such as drought and floods.

Addressing the activists gathered inside the cathedral, Dr Hansen rallied campaigners to protest against the expansion of coal power stations.

"The injustice of coal pollution is not limited to species we exterminate.

"Our own species, the young and the unborn; people who live alongside nature, who we may stigmatise as undeveloped - these people will suffer the most unless we pressure our leaders and industry on to a new path," he said.

Protesters dressed in black marched through the city before travelling to the headquarters of energy company E.ON to campaign against its proposed new coal power station at Kingsnorth in Kent.

At E.ON's offices, located outside the city, the demonstrators laid down eight "coffins" symbolising the suffering of those on the front line of climate change.

Campaigners say giving the go-ahead to the Kingsnorth plant before technology to capture the carbon dioxide emissions is developed would create annual emissions nine times the total produced by Rwanda.

E.ON maintains its proposals are a sensible way of providing energy for the country.

Andrew Barrow, E.ON spokesman, said: "We respect everyone's right to protest peacefully and put across their side of what is a vital debate on the future of energy and our planet.

"As a company and as a nation, we not only have to keep the lights on, we also have to reduce carbon emissions and ensure energy is as affordable as possible for our customers, and we can only do that through a mix that includes cleaner fossil fuels, new nuclear and renewables, as well as giving our customers the tools they need to become more energy efficient.

"Over the next decade the UK is closing almost a third of its power stations and we need to invest in all new technologies.

"The new Kingsnorth plant will be 20% more efficient than the station it is designed to replace and is our entry into the Government's carbon capture competition."
 

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