World climate vigil comes to Spalding

A four-hour climate change vigil began in Spalding at 4pm today (Sunday) as part of a worldwide campaign by environmental activists.

The Spalding vigil is being held in darkness at the town’s Oxfam shop, where manager Gary Peatling says “participants will sit in the shop window and show solidarity with a global community of millions concerned about the future of our climate”.

Vigil in the dark - Spalding Oxfam manager Gary Peatling.

Vigil in the dark - Spalding Oxfam manager Gary Peatling.

The worldwide action comes on the eve of the UN’s conference in Paris – known as COP21 – which will see nearly 150 global leaders trying to agree a deal to limit carbon emissions.

Mr Peatling says the Spalding vigil is organised under the umbrella of Avaaz, a global network comprising 42 million activists, rather than Oxfam itself – although Oxfam is interested in climate change and has been sending out tweets for a week.

He began the vigil alone today but says 50 people had accepted his invitation to take part.

Mr Peatling told us: “My particular interest in climate change was focused when I spent some time in Southern Africa five years ago. I was there as a volunteer development worker and spent six months in Angola.”

He said there is evidence in Angola – and other countries – of desert encroachment and climate change is something we should be worried about now and not because it’s something that might happen in the future.

“In some places it’s getting harder to farm because of desertification,” he said.