Closure of Climate Camp welcomed as progress in activism

Industry experts welcome news that climate activist movement has dispersed.

Colourful occupation: The camp protests in Trafalgar Square in December 2009
Colourful occupation: The camp protests in Trafalgar Square in December 2009

The disbanding of the Camp for Climate Action movement has been welcomed by PR experts as a sign of a shift in emphasis in environmental activism.

For five years, the loose-knit climate camp movement has been a driving force in drawing high profile media attention to issues such as the Kingsnorth coal-burning power station and the planned expansion of Heathrow.

As hundreds of protesters from numerous charities and protest groups united to set up camps for months on end, the movement became an agenda-leader for the media on environmental issues.

But in a statement last week, activists for the climate movement said the camp was being disbanded to leave room to 'launch new radical experiments to tackle the intertwined ecological, social and economic crises we face'.

Forster director Peter Gilheany welcomed the move as a sign that the climate change agenda has changed. 'Climate camps were great as part of their time because they raised awareness very quickly,' said Gilheany. 'But since it's becoming such a political issue, what we now need are mainstream messages around climate change. It is not just about climate change - it is about justice, transport, public health, and so on. It is all about being issue-specific.'

Futerra co-founder Solitaire Townsend said the disbanding was a sign that climate protest is moving away from an 'angry and anti' standpoint to 'angry and inspired'. She said: 'The 10:10 campaign is the best example of this in the UK. It had its bumps, but continues to bring together campaigners, businesses and even government in solutions-focused campaigning, rather than shouting about the problems.'

No-one at Camp for Climate Action was available for comment.

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