May 06 2015

Corrected Press Release – Alternatiba Todmorden

For immediate release

CLIMATE CHANGE FESTIVAL TAKES ROOT IN PENNINES

Well over 500 people of all ages were out in Todmorden, West Yorkshire on Sunday 3rd May, for a festival of climate alternatives with dozens of events and activities about climate change.

People from across Yorkshire and the North West came to the town centre for a day of live music, craft and stalls, with conferences, talks and workshops about climate change in the Town Hall.

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The People’s Budget Stand at Alternatiba Todmorden (Photo Dave Croft)

Fundevogel was packed for a very special event with many high quality poems being read and performed on climate change and wider environmental themes. The words “smouldering in the wake of a phoenix” were used by Gaia Holmes in one of her poems to powerfully describe climate change. “We will explore the possibility of getting a collection published” said event organiser Robert Baylis.

Todmorden campaigner Joseph Mobbs was among the 12,000-strong crowd at the original village of alternatives in Bayonne. He joined forces with a gardener and a former teacher, a chartered environmentalist, a former immigration law specialist, a young mother-of-two and a goat-keeping anthropologist to organise one back at home in the UK.

There was a vegertarian and vegan cafe with low carbon food in the Town Hall and the organisers would like to say a huge thank you to SUMA for sponsoring the food, to Calderdale MBC and Todmorden town council for funds and assistance, to Unlimited and Santander who supported the idea from the beginning with a Spark award, to Gordon Riggs for donating compost and bits for childrens activities, to all the volunteer stewards and to all the organisations, businesses and individuals who came to present and discuss solutions to climate change.

The festival brought together and was a forum for campaigners and changemakers under the same umbrella of working on environmental justice and empowering ordinary people to act. Joe said “we can not leave it to political leaders to rescue the international agreement on emissions limits in December. Climate change is the biggest challenge we have faced since World War II, we need to build grassroots solidarity and international networks now if we want limits on greenhouse gas emissions to be writen into international law in Paris.

Inspired to action by demonstrations, stalls and talks from groups and organisations already tackling climate change, festival goers signed pledges to reduce their carbon footprint by making small changes to their personal lifestyle, organiser Janet Rogers said “We lucky people in wealthy countries should want less and buy less, just because we can afford it doesnt mean we should, we should do what little we can.”

The “Incredible Conference” with founding members and leaders of the Incredible Edible movement which plants edible crops in urban spaces and was born in Todmorden filled the council chamber. Who needs 5-a-day when you can have edible landscapes,” said Incredible Edible founder, Pam Warhurst.

Whether or not a binding legal agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions is made in Paris, encouraging and bringing together those working on climate change in their own homes, streets and communities is important” said Joe. Alternatiba Todmorden included speeches, debates, information stalls, live bands and a café selling local, sustainable and fair-trade vegan food as well as a polar bear and a street party with world music DJs. The music went on into the night in venues around Todmorden.

/Ends

Photo credit: Dave Croft Photography. For further information, for high resolution photos and to arrange interviews with the organisers, please contact: Joe Mobbs –  joe@altertod.eu (not for publication, please). Images of other Alternatiba events are available from the media section of www.alternatiba.eu
Links

www.altertod.eu

http://www.todmordennews.co.uk/news/the-first-of-42-of-these-eco-festivals-across-europe-1-7197513
www.alternatiba.eu
http://www.incredible-edible-todmorden.com

http://www.theguardian.com/theobserver/2012/feb/18/50-new-radicals-incredible-edible