Leicester Mercury

Environmen­tal and race equality groups team up




RACE equality and environmen­tal groups in Leicester are teaming up to “jointly campaign for a cleaner, fairer future”.

The Race Equality Centre (TREC), Leicester Friends of the Earth and Climate Action Leicester and Leicesters­hire, said this is a crucial year for combatting the climate emergency, with the government hosting the COP26 UN climate summit in Glasgow in November.

The groups said the bulk of pollution has come from industrial­ised nations in Europe and North America, but poorer countries are now paying the highest price.

TREC said many of the people and organisati­ons it works with come from climate-threatened nations, such as Sudan, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka.

At a national level the groups are calling for richer countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions faster and provide financial aid to less wealthy nations to help them cope with the climate crisis.

On a local level, the organisati­ons will be transformi­ng two derelict spaces into wildlife-friendly gardens.

The sites at the Highfields Centre, where TREC is based, and the Caribbean Court Day Centre, will also promote the wellbeing of service users.

Iris Lightfoote, chief executive officer of TREC, said: “We are delighted to launch this partnershi­p with Friends of the Earth.

“We have much in common – both organisati­ons are passionate about tackling racism and the climate crisis. Ending racial injustice has to be part of facing up to climate change.

“The home nations of many of our service users are already suffering from severe drought and flooding that has devastated crop yields, causing economic devastatio­n and forcing communitie­s to flee into unknown territorie­s for a better life.

“It’s vital communitie­s join together to stop the climate crisis getting any worse.”

Albert Blake, chairman of trustees at Caribbean Court Day Centre, said: “We are pleased to be working with Leicester Friends of the Earth to build green space in the city.

“Friends of the Earth’s start-up grant will help our service users get involved in creating an ecofriendl­y space – and it will be great for their wellbeing, too.”

Hannah Wakley, co-ordinator of Leicester Friends of the Earth, said: “We are delighted to have formed this partnershi­p with TREC and to have found so much in common.

“The garden projects are exciting and we are looking forward to working with them on our campaign to raise awareness around the vital COP26 climate talks.”

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

“Climate change is already impacting on all of us. We must work together for a fairer, greener world.

“Our partnershi­p with TREC is a vital developmen­t in building links between environmen­tal and racial justice.”

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