Flanked by placards, a retired teacher from Moray has begun a series of hunger strikes and sit-in protests to call for urgent action to protect the planet.
John Lardner, from Forres, has become increasingly concerned about climate change over the last 40 years.
While teaching in London and Kuwait he saw first-hand the rise of emissions and pollution in major cities.
Hunger strikes replicate climate change action needed
In recent years, the 68-year-old has become active in environmental campaigns in Moray, including protesting outside Moray Council’s headquarters to call on them to reduce their own carbon footprint.
Now Mr Lardner has begun a series of 24-hour hunger strikes through May while calling for climate change action from the UK Government to be sped up.
He said: “We’ve known about climate change since at least the 1980s and Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and other organisations have tried so many different types of demonstrations and actions while lobbying MPs.
“But despite all those attempts the situation has become increasingly worse and more desperate.
“This is about more than just surviving, it’s about avoiding death as we hasten our own death and extinction.
“In a way, fasting for life seems to be appropriate because it’s that kind of action that’s needed if we bring about change.”
Demands for action to be accelerated
Mr Lardner is holding 12-hour sit-in protests outside Moray MP Douglas Ross’ office every Friday during May while holding his hunger strikes for climate change.
The former history teacher is calling on the UK Government to speed up the passage of the Climate and Ecology Bill through the House of Commons processes.
The proposed legislation, which passed the first hurdle at Westminster in September last year, is being sponsored by Green MP Caroline Lucas and calls for a Citizens Assembly to be established to work with ministers to create a strategy to meet climate and ecology objectives.
However, a date for the second stage of the bill’s process through parliament is yet to be set.
Mr Lardner said: “This type of bill should be accelerated through parliament rather than delayed.
“We’ve seen in the past that time can be found to pass bills quickly when it suits, like the Police and Crime Bill.
“Covid-19 is obviously a very serious crisis but we are still going to be here at the end of it, climate change is much more serious.
“We need to think about things in a much more long-term way instead of focusing on economic growth, there has to be a place for considering people’s wellbeing.”