PRESS RELEASE: Huge turnout for Liverpool’s COP26 demonstration
Supporters of the Save Rimrose Valley campaign joined thousands of others at a mass demonstration on Saturday 6th November to highlight the climate emergency.
The event was organised by a coalition of environmental groups from across the Liverpool City Region and began with a rally at Liverpool’s Sefton Park, where Save Rimrose Valley addressed the crowds. Protesters then braved the elements and marched to the city centre before culminating in another rally in Derby Square.
The demonstration was part of a Global Day of Action for Climate Justice  bringing together a wide variety of different movements to build power for system change. It coincided with the ongoing COP26 meeting of world leaders to discuss action on climate change, which began in Glasgow on Monday, 1st November.
Explaining the relevance of Saturday’s action, campaign coordinator, Stuart Bennett, said:
“Since we began our campaign a little over 4 years ago, we have come to learn that our fight against National Highways’ Port of Liverpool Access Road  isn’t ‘just’ about protecting our essential green space.
“There are direct links to the climate emergency, with roads and transport being the UK’s biggest contributor to climate-wrecking CO2 emissions. These come not only from the HGVs this road is intended to support, but also from Peel Ports’ own shipping operations.
“If this government is serious about tackling the climate emergency, it must urgently pursue innovative solutions to the movement of freight which are zero emission. Sefton Council’s ARUP report  confirmed these exist, yet Peel Ports are content with sitting back and waiting for their taxpayer-funded, environmentally destructive port access road. We won’t let this happen. Peel Ports can either work with us, the community and the council, or they can continue to look like a dinosaur corporation, complicit in the climate crisis.
“We are demanding that the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps MP, uses COP26 as a catalyst to cancel National Highways’ road proposal in favour of a truly sustainable alternative. Otherwise, it seems that this government cares more about the interests of private businesses than it does about the people it was elected to serve. After last week’s lobbying scandal – and with Peel Ports having themselves lobbied the government to fund this scheme  - this is not a good look.”
 Details of the COP26 Coalition’s Global Day of Action
 Link to summary of Port of Liverpool Access Scheme:
 Link to Sefton Council’s ARUP report which documents viable and sustainable alternatives to the movement of freight containers in and out of ports, which our campaign supports
 Link to Save Rimrose FOI requests which confirmed Peel Ports “worked tirelessly to secure government funding for the scheme”
Email chain between Peel Ports and National Highways (formerly Highways England)