Businesses Including Unilever Voice Support For Extinction Rebellion Protest

The environmental organization shut down areas of London last week in a bid to bring attention to the impending climate crisis - and urge political leaders to take action
Extinction Rebellion
The organization uses non-violent methods (Photo: Extinction Rebellion)

A host of businesses - including Unilever, Ecotricity, and The Body Shop - have come out in support for environmental organization Extinction Rebellion.

Extinction Rebellion has shut down parts of London over the last week during protests which have seen police make 1,065 arrests. The London protest started on April 15 and is slated to continue until the 29. Campaigners have targeted areas including Parliament Square, Marble Arch, and Picadilly Circus.

Demanding climate action

The organization, which describes itself as 'an international apolitical network' uses non-violent direct action to 'persuade governments to act on the Climate and Ecological Emergency'.

It has three demands, asking the Government to 'tell the truth' by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.

It says theGovernment must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025, and go beyond politics, creating and being led by the decisions of a Citizens' Assembly on climate and ecological justice.

Campaigners have targeted Parliament (Photo: Adobe. Do not use without permission)

Business leaders

Now multiple business leaders have written to The Times newspaper, supporting the protests, and saying 'entire industries and businesses' need to be redesigned

"Contrary to belief, there is business support for the Extinction Rebellion (XR) agenda," wrote the business leaders. "The multi-million-pound costs that the Extinction Rebellion protests have imposed on business are regrettable, as is the inconvenience to Londoners. But future costs imposed on our economies by the climate emergency will be many orders of magnitude greater.

"Hard pressure drives change, but even the most committed businesses will need time to respond. We welcome the news that  Extinction Rebellion is evolving a new platform, XR Business, to engage business leaders, investors and advisers. To drive things forward, the idea is to convene a meeting of XR activists and experts with business leaders and influencers."

Changing the way business works

They added that most businesses 'were not designed in the context of the developing climate emergency' and said there is, therefore, an urgent need to 'redesign entire industries and businesses, using science-based targets'.

The business leaders proposed that businesses should make a declaration that we face a climate emergency and organize a session at a full board meeting to consider the case for urgent action, adding: "We will encourage the senior management teams of which we are part to do likewise."

Extinction Rebellion's actions continued today with protests at the Natural History Museum and Westminster.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself. 

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PBN Contributor:

Maria is the Editor of Plant Based News. A former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers. She was previously the editor of Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaChiorando and Instagram @mariachiorando.

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