Saturday, May 4, 2019

Now UK Declares Climate Emergency

On Wednesday, the UK has become the first country in the world to declare a national climate emergency following protests and acts of civil disobedience from a grassroots environmental group that was launched in October. 

It's a spectacular success for Extinction Rebellion – more so when we consider that most climate protests have failed to capture the attention of the public, media and/or politicians.

For ten days in April 2019, tens of thousands of people committed acts of civil disobedience, including blocking traffic across the Thames, gluing themselves onto trains, graffiting the headquarters of oil giant Shell, and blockading the stock exchange. 

It apparently worked because the protests led to two separate parliamentary debates, and these were capped this week by the successful climate emergency motion. 

Even the UK media too mentioned climate change more in that month than it has at any other time in the last five years – including during the Paris Agreement negotiations in 2016. 

Although the declaration on its own does not mandate action on climate, it was the first of the protester's three demands, along with reducing emissions to net zero by 2025, and creating an assembly of citizens to lead the government on climate issues. 

Extinction Rebellion should feel elated. As they said: "This is the first step in the government telling the truth about the climate and ecological emergency”. From now on, expect more pressure on politicians – after all, nothing but decisive action will suffice. 

On Friday, Kinabatangan MP Bung Moktar Radin and his celebrity wife Zizie Ezette A Samad claimed trial at two Sessions Courts on charges of corruption, amounting to RM2.8 million which was the reward for getting approval from Finance Minister II for FELCRA Berhad to invest RM150 million in Public Mutual Bhd. 

Bung, in his capacity as a non-executive chairperson of FELCRA, was charged with three counts of obtaining for himself RM2.2 million, RM262,500 and RM337,500 from two unit trust agents through unit trust investment accounts registered under his wife's name.

Zizie is of course facing three counts of abetting her husband in the offences.

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