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Our campaign against dirty energy has enabled the youth voice to be heard on the fight against fracking. We’ve scouted the country, talking to young people who are doing just this, and we loved what we heard, so we’re going to share them with you.

This is Charlotte, from Misson, Nottinghamshire:

"I’m 19 years old, and have lived in Misson my whole life. I am involved in frack free campaigns because I will not allow my own and future generations to be locked into dependence on exhaustible and damaging energy sources. The financial greed that is blinding corporations and politicians doesn’t fool me. Our environment, public health and quality of life are of utmost importance. The evidence proving that fracking is an unsafe process, whether “regulated” or not, is overwhelming. I refuse for my great-great grandchildren to look back and wonder why we stood by and did nothing when faced with such a clear threat. The thought of seeing the farmland and countryside surrounding my childhood home replaced by an industrial gasfield is truly horrifying, and I will not stand for it."

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For the love of the food on our plates. For the love of our global neighbours. For the Love of Somerset, the Arctic and the Great Barrier Reef. For the love of country walks and Britain’s beautiful seasons.

For the love of all the things we care about, we’re taking climate change seriously. And we’re not alone.

We’re part of The Climate Coalition, over 100 organisations with millions of supporters, working together for climate action. We may all be passionate about different things, but we’re united in our determination to tackle climate change.

Join the movement and share what you love

In July, we will present your stories and images to politicians so they’ll see all the reasons why you want them to take climate change more seriously than ever before. To remind them that, no matter what gets us up in the morning, we all care about something that’s affected by climate change. We’ve been waiting too long for the decisions that the world needs.

What do you love?

Together we can make sure we’re heard in the name of the things that matter most.

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The youth arm of Britain’s most influential environmental NGO, Young Friends of the Earth, have today put Lord John Browne of Madingley’s integrity up for auction on eBay. [1]

This comes on the day that officials from the Department of Energy and Climate Change and the Environment Agency speak at the UK Shale Gas Forum [2] alongside the chief executives of Cuadrilla and iGas – two companies whose drilling sites have been the focus of protest camps in Balcombe and Salford.

John Wilson, lead campaigner of Young Friends of the Earth’s Dirty Energy Group said:

'We have targeted Lord Browne as he was appointed Non-Executive Director of the Cabinet Office, a mere four months after joining Cuadrilla as Chairman. We believe Lord Browne should resign as he is looking to benefit financially from fracking and this coupled with his influence within the government amounts to a massive conflict of interest.’

Greg Hewitt, campaign member of the Dirty Energy Group said:

‘Fracking keeps us hooked on dangerous fossil fuels which reduce our ability to meet our legally binding obligations to reduce our CO2 emissions. Stories of fracking from the US already provide evidence of the negative environmental and human impacts of fracking. [3] Even on our own doorstep, fracking has caused havoc – test drilling in Lancashire caused two earthquakes back in 2011.’ [4]

Young Friends of the Earth demonstrated outside Riverstone Holdings at last October’s Global Frackdown event, and have now gained over 2,000 signatures on their change.org petition. [5]

ENDS

Notes for Editors:

[1]http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=171272165961

[2] http://marketforce.eu.com/events/utilities-energy/the-shale-gas-forum

[3]  http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/01/05/some-states-confirm-water-pollution-from-drilling/4328859/

[4] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-15550458

[5] https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/we-call-on-lord-browne-to-resign-from-his-position-in-the-cabinet-office-due-to-his-vested-interests-in-profiting-from-fracking-and-the-conflict-of-interest-this-causes

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Meat production and overfishing is damaging our natural environments. Livestock production is responsible for 14.5% of greenhouse gases emitted each year and destructive fishing methods are damaging our marine ecosystems.

We need to start thinking more about the impact of our dietary choices. 

We believe that eating less but better meat and fish is the way forward and to show you that this is more than possible, we’re challenging you to give Meat Free May a go - a month of no meat or fish, whilst asking your friends and family to sponsor you.

We hope that once you see how easy it is to live without meat or fish you’ll look to eat better for yourself and the planet. Our Executive Director even gave it a go.

Join us to enjoy new food, have fun and help us fundraise! Sign-up to take part in Meat Free May today.

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The EU 2030 package is important. The targets it contains will set out how much Europe will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by and how we’ll generate and use electricity for the next 17 years.

The European Commission has proposed targets that risk putting the world on a pathway to blow the 2 degree limit. Now it’s down to national governments to decide what the final goals should be at their EU Council meeting on 20-21 March – so it’s time to make some noise!

First, find out why this is important and what’s going on with some hand puppets, courtesy of the fantastic UK Youth Climate Coalition

 

 

Next, take action!

1.  Sound the Alarm for Climate Action!

All across Europe, people, organisations and communities are gearing up to take action in a week of pressure aimed at their governments from 22 February to 1 March. By working together we can create a louder united voice that highlight the broad diversity of voices calling for more climate action.

Find out what’s happening near you – or add your own ideas! – here: http://caneurope.org/climateactionweek

2. Push the UK Government for European climate action 

The UK is enduring the worst floods for 200 years and leading scientists agree that they are climate-related. At the same time, Europe is setting climate targets for the next two decades. If thousands of us send David Cameron and Nick Clegg a message, they can push for the ambitious action that the world needs.

Sign the petition here: http://www.stopclimatechaos.org/campaigns/push-european-climate-action

3. Demand European Climate Action

Join European citizens who are deeply concerned about the causes and impacts of climate change to call on EU Heads of State to advocate for the European Council to support a plan that will truly protect us from dangerous climate change.

Email your government here: http://caneurope.org/act-now

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By Richard Sagar, Young FoE Steering Group

I have to be honest, waiting around in a car park on the outskirts of Manchester on a cold afternoon is not my idea of a perfect Sunday.

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But with Barton Moss in Manchester at the frontline in the current fight against unconventional gas extraction. I felt it necessary to join the solidarity demo with those camping at the fracking rig, preventing lorries transporting goods to the site.

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The demo itself had a better than expected turnout with upwards of 500 people, most of whom local, outraged at the Governments plans to leave the British countryside resembling a pin cushion. There were people from all walks of life and ages united in opposition to the Government’s proposed ‘dash for gas’.

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With such a large percentage of the UK population opposed to fracking, The government is on the back foot. David Cameron is urging councils to get on board and even offering bribes to councils that do

Barton Moss is just the beginning. Future site battles will be necessary. Young FoE will be there, we hope you can join us.

Sign our petition to David Cameron

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By Shaz, Young FoE Steering Group

This January I am going vegan for the month. I currently live a mostly vegetarian lifestyle. I only eat meat if it is about to be thrown away or I am abroad. I don’t have a problem with eating meat, as I believe animals are part of the human food chain. I do think that we eat too much meat as a society and the source of our animal products is highly questionable from both an environmental and ethical perspective.

I’ve often wondered what it would be like to be vegan. I’ve learnt from vegan friends that it takes a great deal of planning to live healthily as a vegan. I’ve been informed that eating out can be difficult as for many restaurants vegan dishes are unheard of. I am bad at planning my meals and often just buy items such as egg sandwiches without thinking about the source of the ingredients – whether the hens were treated cruelly or how much the farm contributed to environmental degradation.

Even as ‘mostly vegetarian’, I have become complacent, I know my actions may still contribute to harming animals, the environment and perpetuate damage to wider society. I’m hoping to change this and learn more as I go along. I love a challenge so this is perfect for me.

In May, Young Friends of the Earth will be launching a campaign which will challenge people to give up meat and fish for all of May. We’re hoping that once people see firsthand just how easy it is to live without meat or fish they will easily be able to reduce their consumption and make dietary choices that are both good for themselves and the planet. We hope you will join us – keep an eye out for Meat Free May!

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We’ve just celebrated our first anniversary since our re-launch in late 2012!

Since we first met at Friends of the Earth’s annual conference in 2012, a vibrant network has emerged. Their first annual review celebrates a year which has included:

  • Going undercover in a computer store to draw attention to how Apple sources its components
  • Calling on Cuadrilla chair Lord Browne to resign, including organising a protest outside his investment company
  • Cycling to the New Forest to raise money as part of the Big Green Bike Ride
  • Joining Young Friends of the Earth Norway to successfully halt plans for fossil fuel extraction in the Lofoten national park
  • Being part of the youth delegation to the climate talks in Poland
  • Contributing to events such as People and Planet Conference, Balcombe ‘Reclaim the Power’ camp, and BASECAMP

This year, we’ll be continuing our involvement in the movement against Dirty Energy as well as a project calling people to go Meat Free for May.

If you’re interested in being part of these sub-groups, please email us.

We’re working to include more young people in the environmental movement. If you are under the age of 30 and are involved, or want to be involved in environmental campaigning, please fill in this survey.

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By Adam, Young FoE Steering Group

I’m not a fan of Lord Browne.

For me, it started when the Browne Review (recommending tuition fee increases) came out in 2010 – I was the Vice President of my Students’ Union at the time – thousands of us took to the streets chanting ‘Down With Browne’ – then I learnt about BP, greenwashing, the Deepwater Horizon disaster that many hold him culpable for, and to top it all off, my university gave him an honorary degree.  Great.

Over 120 arrests at Balcombe later, fracking is rightfully a national controversy. So when it turned out that he was doing a public lecture at the LSE’s Grantham Research Institute last week, I knew I had to be there. And I wasn’t the only one, either.

Appallingly, the LSE collaborated in portraying him as some sort of climate hero – ‘in 1997, Lord Browne broke ranks with the rest of the oil industry and acknowledged the risk posed by climate change,’ the lecture synopsis puffed. Browne was going to be allowed to style himself as someone concerned for the environment. You don’t get prizes for simply recognising the biggest threat the human family has ever faced.

Lord Browne has spent most of his life working for and running a company that has been responsible for some of the worst environmental and humanitarian disasters the world has ever seen, and is locking us into a climate changed future. He’s is the chairman of Balcombe frackers Cuadrilla Resources, and a lobbyist for his own business interests within government. He’s current advising the owners of a Russian oil and gas fund. Clearly, he’s no environmental hero. For LSE to put him up as a speaker, unopposed, is disgraceful.

As he took to the stage of the night, there was more security than usual for a public lecture at LSE. It only became clear just how many people were in the audience to oppose Browne until he mentioned how there were no examples of fracking contaminating water, and suddenly the whole audience was overcome with a coughing fit:

From then on, it was obvious what was going to happen when it was time for questions. Browne looked flustered as he was barracked by audience members about his role in the Deepwater Horizon disaster, his links with government, his claims that fracking doesn’t cause earthquakes or water contamination, and how all this squares with his apparent concern for the environment. His claims of fracking not causing groundwater contamination (well over 1,000 separate reports in the US alone) was rubbished by the vast majority of the audience.

The only drop of truth seemed to come when Browne contradicted the government’s apparent rationale for fracking – that it would cut bills.

For nearly two hours, Browne was assailed by hostile questions. Only around two or three questions during that time were not direct challenges. The nearest Browne got to anything complimentary was ‘I think you’re pretty brave for coming here.’

But that’s how it should be. If he wants to stand up and spout the myth that fracking is safe and just what we need, he should need to be brave. The crowd at the LSE made sure he wouldn’t get a free platform – like he does at the Cabinet Office – to spout propaganda. He needs to be opposed and challenged wherever he goes.

That’s why Young FoE have started a ‘Dirty Energy Group’ opposing dirty energy in the UK and across Europe. If you’d like to join, get in touch.