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Climate activists challenge state and corporate targets in Croydon

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Climate activists from Extinction Rebellion and Greenpeace have staged separate actions targeting carbon emitters in Croydon.

One June 9, climate campaigners with Greenpeace painted the ground outside two Tesco express stores in Croydon with chalk stencils highlighting the links between deforestation and the meat industry.

Several days later, on June 13, activists with Extinction Rebellion staged a symbolic ‘Drown In’ protest at Beddington Park to emphasize the dangers of rising sea levels posed by the climate emergency and referencing the recent G7 summit of powerful nation states hosted in Cornwall.

The Greenpeace action, which targeted Tesco branches on George Street and Wellesley Road, followed similar protests in south London that saw Greenpeace criticize Tesco for their lack of drastic action on the climate emergency.

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Specifically, Greenpeace have highlighted the well-documented links between Tesco, the meat and soya industries and deforestation.

Image via Greenpeace

“We’ve given Tesco plenty of time to respond to our demand to drop forest destroyers from their supply chain, and replace half the meat Tesco sells with plant-based food by 2025, but so far they don’t seem to be getting the message that industrial meat is bad for our planet,” Clive Farndon from south Croydon said.

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“That’s why Greenpeace volunteers decided to give CEO Ken Murphy a friendly reminder that Tesco meat = deforestation,” he added.

Greenpeace also say that recent efforts to tout the company’s green credentials amount to ‘greenwashing’, something Tesco refutes.

Responding to a previous request from Newsquest south London about the Greenpeace campaign, a spokesperson for Tescos said:

“We share Greenpeace’s aim to end deforestation in the Amazon.

“It’s why we’ve set challenging public targets committing to zero deforestation, it’s why we’ve committed to a 300 per cent increase in the sales of plant-based meat alternatives, why we don’t sell Brazilian beef and why we support action to ensure all food sold in the UK is deforestation-free.”

Just days after Greenpeace’s actions against Tesco, two activists with Extinction Rebellion slammed the G7 nations whose leaders gathered in Cornwall recently for their lack of action in addressing the climate emergency.

Holding a banner that read ‘Drowning In Promises’, the campaigners lay face down in the water for a time to underline the human dangers posed by the rising sea levels expected by scientists in the coming decades.

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“The ‘Drowning In Promises’ protest highlights the promises the rich nations of the Global North made at Paris in 2015 to keep global temperatures under 2˚C above pre-industrial temperatures, and as close as possible to 1.5˚C.

“The protest also highlights the fate of low lying countries such as Bangladesh and the Marshall Islands, who are disappearing under water due to sea level rise and were assured fair consideration as part of the Paris agreement, as were all effected developing countries,” a spokesperson for the group said.

The UN has highlighted the immediate dangers to the global food supply posed by the climate crisis, and said that without drastic action 140 million people from Asia, Latin America and Africa will be forced to migrate by 2050.

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