Two events at the end of this week demonstrate the determination of the people of Winchester District to take action about climate change and counteract global warming. These are in the context of the coming United Nations conference on climate change, taking place in Paris from 30 November to 11 December, and the national and international day of climate change action on Sunday 29 November.

On Friday 27 November, supporters of Winchester Action on Climate Change (WinACC) will be personally taking a letter to the Prime Minister. The letter will be delivered on behalf of WinACC and all 600 signatories by local teenagers Emily Cox, Carys Jones and Tom Storey Angell. It urges him to make every effort in the Paris talks to ensure a clear and binding legal agreement between nations to take all necessary steps to limit the rise in global temperatures to below 2°C. and to give effective action to his pledge to work towards an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050.

That letter has been signed by, among others, Councillor Roy Perry, Chairman of Hampshire County Council; Councillors from Winchester City Council including the Leader Stephen Godfrey, portfolio-holder for the environment Councillor Frank Pearson and shadow portfolio-holder for the environment Councillor Anne Weir;Baroness Celia Thomas of Winchester and the Earl of Selborne, who chairs the House of Lords Select Committee on Science & Technology; local parish councils; Debbie Tann, Chief Executive of Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust; Alan Lovell, Chair of the Consumer Council for Water; Councillor Keith House, leader of Eastleigh Borough Council;  local academics and teachers including Professors David Knight and Bob Whitmarsh, Dr Ralph Townsend, Headmaster of Winchester College, Tom Burden, Headmaster of the Pilgrims' School and teachers from Peter Symonds College. The Right Reverend the Bishop of WinchesterTim Dakin has made a statement of support.

On Sunday 29 November, WinACC expects some 250 people to walk in Winchester People's Procession for Paris. They set off from Abbey Gardens SO23 9BE, adjacent to the Broadway, at 10:00am and end at Winchester Railway Station with a small rally, from where some will go on the 11.23 train to the People’s March for the Climate in London and others to  Southampton People's Climate Demonstration in Guildhall Square, Civic Centre, Southampton.

The march will be led by WinACC supporters of all ages and a choir singing a climate song specially written for WinACC. There will be short speeches or statements from Winchester City Councillors, the Vice-chancellor of the University of Winchester and the young people who delivered the letter to 10 Downing Street.

Broadcast interviews will be available in advance with Tony Stoller, chair of Winchester Action on Climate Change and/or Christine Holloway, co-director. Please contact in the first instance Christine Holloway onchristine.holloway@winacc.org.uk, 07779 283451 or the WinACC office on 01962 827083.

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