Activists launch public online vote to choose a coal plant to shut down
August 08, 2009
Drax or Ratcliffe-on-Soar coal plants – which shuts? You decide...
Activists launch 'Britain's Got Direct Action' - a public online vote to choose a coal plant to shut down
Today, activists from the Camp for Climate Action, Plane Stupid, Climate Rush, Rising Tide and other climate groups are coming together to announce the launch of ’Britain’s Got Direct Action’ – an online public vote  to choose to shut down either Drax  or Ratcliffe-on-Soar  coal power stations in an audacious, large-scale direct action to take place in October.
With a tongue-in-cheek reference to public voting on popular talent shows, the Britain’s Got Direct Action vote opens online today, and is designed to encourage people from all walks of life to get involved in taking direct action. The action, planned for 17th and 18th October, has been dubbed the ‘Great Climate Swoop’, inspired by a tactic first used by Climate Camp, which successfully ‘swooped’ to set up a camp at the G20 in April, evading police surveillance.
Voting will close during the London Climate Camp (27 Aug-2 Sept). At the Camp people can take part in educational workshops about the impact of carbon emissions from coal on climate change, as well as direct action discussion and training. The results of the Britain’s Got Direct Action vote will be announced at the Climate Camp and will be the first step towards a predicted ‘autumn of action’ in the run up to the Copenhagen climate negotiations in December.
Charlotte Johnson, one of the individuals involved in the action said: “Climate change is happening now, and our political and economic systems are causing it, not preventing it. This is why we are taking power into our own hands. Unlike the politicians, we are ordinary people who, when we come together, do extraordinary things. Unlike in other democratic votes, the Britain’s Got Direct Action vote will lead to action and change, not just government greenwash. We're not going to sit back and watch while governments talk away our future. We're asking the public - 'Will we stop climate change? You decide.'"
"We're hoping that thousands of people will get involved by voting, getting trained and taking action with us. Burning coal is the biggest single source of carbon emissions. Coal power stations must be shut down permanently if we are to have any chance of stopping catastrophic climate change."
Notes to Editors
- People can go online and visit www.thegreatclimateswoop.org to cast their vote for either the Drax site in Yorkshire or Ratcliffe-on-Soar in Nottinghamshire.
- Drax is Europe's biggest coal power station, and the UK's biggest source of carbon emissions.
- Ratcliffe-on-Soar is the UK's 3rd largest source of carbon emissions, and is run by E.ON, the energy company who want to build a controversial new coal plant at Kingsnorth. Earlier this year, 114 people were arrested under suspicion of conspiracy to commit aggravated trespass at the Ratcliffe site