More than 200 people from Winchester District joined 700 hundred thousand people world-wide to show their commitment to tackling global warming on Sunday 29 November, the day before the opening of the crucial Paris Climate Conference. 

The Paris Climate Conference needs to achieve a new international agreement on the climate, applicable to all countries, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C. 

The Winchester procession started in Abbey Gardens with a statement of support from the Right Reverend Tim Dakin, Bishop of Winchester.

Cllr Godfrey speaks

Councillor Stephen Godfrey, Leader of Winchester City Council and Councillor Lucille Thompson Leader of the Liberal Democrat group on the City Council both spoke of their concern about climate change and the importance of action by the Council as well as international leaders. Cllr Jan Berry of the Labour Group was also in the procession.

Under the WinACC banner and accompanied by songs including "For the love of our planet" written by WinACC member Rupert Marks,  the procession walked to Winchester railway station, collecting people on the way.

Joy Carter and her placard

Joy Carter, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Winchester, emphasised that the time for talking is over in a strong speech to the final rally, displaying her placard showing how global warming has continued to rise after 20 years of talking.

Tom Storey-Angell and Carys Jones, both students at Peter Symonds College, told the crowd of their visit to 10 Downing Street on Friday 27 November to deliver 750 signatures from the people of Winchester District on a letter urging the Prime Minister to take a firm stand at the Paris Climate Conference starting on 30 November.

The Paris agreement is only the start”, said Chris Holloway, WinACC Co-Director. “An agreement is useless unless it’s carried out. And that means all of us – international, national, local government and every single person to take action to cut their carbon footprint. WinACC’s next open meeting, at 10.30am on Saturday 5 December at the St Lawrence Parish Room, Colebrook Street, Winchester SO23 9LH, will focus on the practical steps we can take. Come to our meeting to find out how you can play a part by reducing your carbon footprint”.

WinACC banner outside ParliamentAbout 20 people then went by train to carry the WinACC banner to Parliament, in the national demonstration in London.

The Guardian have a fantastic photo gallery of images and stories from all round the world. In Paris, 10,000 pairs of shoes “marched” after the authorities cancelled all public protests.