Climate activists put sign up at Portsmouth City Council calling for action

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A climate activist fixed a “New Year’s message” to Portsmouth City Council’s civic offices accusing the council of complacency in relation to climate policy.

A picture of the sign which reads “you declared a climate emergency so act like it you can do better PCC” was circulated on social media after an account posted a picture of it at 7.55am this morning (Tuesday, January 2).

The sign was put up by Paul Bleach, 56, who has been a climate action protester for a year and a half. Speaking on his action, he said: “It’s not to anger the council but it’s to communicate and shake a rattle to say what are we doing? If this ship’s sinking as fast as we’re led to believe, we’re not doing enough quick enough.”

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Many comments on the social media post mocked the act, to which the account in question responded: “This is all about raising awareness and all comments help with the algorithms.”

The sign appeared outside the council offices this morningThe sign appeared outside the council offices this morning
The sign appeared outside the council offices this morning

Councillor, George Madgwick from the Portsmouth Independents Party, commented: “I’m sure that thanks to this guy’s sign everything will change now *laughing emoji*.” Another commenter said: “You should thank someone for taking time out of their day to try and make change for good without being a nuisance.”

A Portsmouth City Council spokesperson said the council was taking action over climate change: "Climate change is one of the most important and complex challenges society has ever faced. That is why Portsmouth City Council has responded by declaring it aims to become a net zero carbon organisation by 2030z, and we are supporting the city on the same journey.

"As a city, we've collectively reduced our emissions by 41 per cent since 2012 and the council is taking extensive and sustained action to meet our net zero target. Our recent activities include building new Southsea and North Portsea coastal defences to reduce the risk of a major flood event now and over the next 100 years; significantly increasing green spaces across the city through our greening strategy; completing large solar panel and battery storage projects at Portsmouth International Port and starting work at Lakeside North Harbour, enabling these sites to run on carbon-free energy; and providing residents with greener travel options, such as renting pedal bikes, e-scooters and cars through our new Car Club scheme, and a £48m investment to improve bus services.

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"We are doing much, much more which can be found on our new climate action website, where residents and businesses can also find resources to help reduce their carbon footprint."

The sign has now been removed.