‘Race and climate justice must go hand in hand,’ say Leicester activists


Racial equality groups and local environmental organizations in the city and county have joined forces to fight racism and the climate emergency.

The Race Equality Center (TREC) has partnered with Leicester Friends of the Earth and Climate Action Leicester and Leicestershire to fight for a fairer and cleaner future.

With the UK government hosting the UN climate summit, COP26 next month in Glasgow, campaigners are calling for more action to be taken on climate change – the impact of which is being seen globally.

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But the countries least likely to have contributed to the climate crisis are the most affected, according to statistics, according to groups.

Many of the people TREC works with come from climate-threatened countries such as Sudan, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka.

Iris Lightfoote, CEO of the center, said: “The home countries of many of our service users are already at the forefront of climate change.

“They are already suffering from severe drought and flooding that have devastated crop yields, causing economic devastation and forcing communities to flee to unknown lands for a better life.

“It is vital that communities come together to prevent the climate crisis from worsening.

“Ending racial injustice must be part of the fight against climate change.”

With similar goals, Friends of the Earth said they were “delighted” to work with TREC.

The groups are calling on richer countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions faster and to provide financial assistance to poorer countries to help them cope with the current impacts of the climate crisis.

Richard Dyer, organizer of the Friends of the Earth East Midlands campaign, said: “If we are to win against climate change, we must also win against racism.

The groups will work together to campaign for a greener and fairer future, locally and globally.

“Climate change is already impacting us all.

“We must work together for a fairer and greener world. Our new partnership with TREC is a vital development in forging the links between environmental and racial justice.”

At the local level, the groups are marking the partnership by transforming two neglected outdoor spaces into wildlife-friendly gardens with the help of small grants from Friends of the Earth.

One is the Highfields Center where TREC is based and the second is at the Caribbean Court Day Center.

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Green spaces outside the two centers will be cleared to make room for new shrubs and plants that will attract pollinating insects. Volunteers will start working in the garden at the Caribbean Court Day Center at the end of the month.

Albert Blake, Chairman of the Trustees of the Caribbean Court Day Center, said, “The Friends of the Earth Seed Grant will help our service users get involved in creating an eco-friendly space within our community. local environment, and it will be great for their well-being. too much.”

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