Stop Climate Chaos


The Wave - FAQ

The Wave

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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What’s So Important About Copenhagen?
  2. Why Is The Wave Happening?
  3. What's Happening At 3pm?
  4. How Do I Get Blue Hands?
  5. Who’s Coming To The Wave?
  6. How Can I Get Involved?
  7. Why London?
  8. How Do I Get To London?
  9. Can I Bring My Family?
  10. What Else Should I Bring?
  11. Will There Be Toilets Provided?
  12. Why Is The Wave Blue Not Green?
  13. What’s Coal Got To Do With Copenhagen?

1. What’s so Important about Copenhagen?

Global carbon emissions are growing fast. We must reverse this trend by 2015 to stand a good chance of keeping global warming below the danger threshold of 2 degrees C. The current international climate deal, the Kyoto Protocol, is not enough, and will run out soon. Copenhagen is our best chance to put in place a new deal that will meet the 2015 target.

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2. Why is The Wave Happening?

The Wave is the culmination of campaigning by members of the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition throughout 2009 to bring down UK carbon emissions and secure a fair deal at Copenhagen. We have been campaigning for the Government to clean up the UK’s energy sector by ruling out dirty coal and investing in a thriving renewable energy industry. We’ve also been taking action to demand that the UK pays its fair share of the costs poor countries (who are least responsible for climate change but who will be hit first and worst) will face. The Wave is when we will all come together for a big push on the eve of the Copenhagen summit.

The Wave is the UK’s contribution to a global series of actions by people from all walks of life ahead of and during the summit. People all over the world will be pressing their representatives at Copenhagen to agree a fair and effective deal. There will be a huge international demonstration in Copenhagen itself on Saturday 12th December - the mid-point of the summit.

If you are in Scotland and can’t come to The Wave there will also be a Wave event in Glasgow organised by Stop Climate Chaos Scotland.

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3. What's Happening at 3pm?

By 3 pm the front part of the Wave will have encircled the Houses of Parliament using both banks of the River Thames, Westminster and Lambeth Bridges. At this symbolic moment we will stop and quietly reflect on those who lives have been, and will be, devastated by climate change. We’ll then make as much noise as we can. We'll wave blue hands and materials in the air – as a positive signal to politicians that are giving them the go-ahead to negotiate a fair deal at Copenhagen and act for a better, low carbon future for the UK. We expect lots of media to cover The Wave, so we need this 3 pm moment to be as vibrant and energetic as possible.

If you are not in the front section of the march don’t worry. At 3pm the ‘tail’ will extend through the other seats of political power i.e. through Whitehall and past Downing Street. Parts of it may still be in Trafalgar Square! This doesn’t matter. We’ll still need all those in the tail to join in with the 3 pm mass moment to invite the public in all those places to voice their support for our demands for action on climate change.

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4. How Do I Get Blue Hands?

There will be stations for people to paint their hands blue if they wish to in Grosvenor Square, but we are encouraging as many people as possible to come to the Wave with their hands painted blue already, or to bring blue gloves, and of course to use the blue theme to dress up in blue costumes! If you don’t fancy dressing up or painting your hands blue, and don’t have blue gloves, then please just try and bring a blue scarf / hat / coat / material - anything that people will see, or that you can wave at 3pm.

Or course if you have nothing blue at all, don’t let that stop you from coming along anyway!

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5. Who’s Coming to The Wave?

The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition unites people from all walks of life. Tens of thousands of green activists, anti-poverty campaigners, students, people of faith, trades unionists, plus people who may never have been at an event like this before but simply care about the future of the planet and all it inhabitants, will be there. You don’t have to be part of any organisation or to do anything special. Just turn up and show your belief in a better, low carbon future for us all. Here are some lovely people telling us why they're coming on The Wave.

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6. How Can I Get Involved?

We have a whole page devoted to this as we want this to be your Wave too!

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7. Why London?

Because it is the UK Government that has the power to slash our country’s carbon emissions and which will represent us at the Copenhagen climate change summit. The climax of The Wave will be an encirclement of Parliament at 3 pm to call on the UK Government to show leadership at Copenhagen. There’s a lot that each one of us can do to reduce our own carbon emissions, and companies and businesses must play their part too. But it’s the Government that will negotiate a new deal at Copenhagen, and it’s only the Government that can take the big picture decisions - like what sorts of power stations to build - necessary to slash UK carbon emissions.

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8. How Do I Get To London?

There are loads of buses, trains and bikes coming to The Wave from all over the country, check out our transport map and our FAQs for Travel.

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9. Can I Bring My Family?

Yes! The Wave will be a family-friendly event – after all it’s our children whose futures are most at stake. There will be a special gathering zone in Grosvenor Square for people with young children, away from the noise of the stage, and we will actively assist families in this zone to form-up up with the march when it sets off. We’re also aiming to have some entertainment for the little ones in the zone during the assembly time (12-1 pm).

Throughout the day there will be plenty of stewards on hand to help families with young children and to ensure that the march proceeds smoothly and comfortably. Professional events staff are supporting Stop Climate Chaos ensure this is a safe event. Plus we have been in close liaison with the police and other authorities since early in the year to plan a fun but serious occasion at which people of all ages will be very welcome. And of course, we’ll have first-aiders present.

We'll have some facilities for assisting lost children, but highly recommend making sure your child has a piece of card / paper with them with your mobile phone number on it in case they become lost. We can then reunite them with you quickly and safely. If you are a school group with teachers please give the most appropriate contact number. We look forward to seeing you all and to a fantastic, safe and successful day!

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10. What Else Should I Bring?

Blue! The Wave is a display of unity and belief by people from all walks of life. We are asking everyone to wear something blue as a visible display of this unity. If you can, please paint your hands blue (or wear blue gloves) ready to wave them in the air at the mass moment at 3pm.

Please also bring any placards, banners, flags etc that you can. If you’re making some especially for the occasion, and are wondering what to write on them, then don’t forget that we’re calling on the Government to Act Fair and Fast, Protect the Poorest, and Quit Dirty Coal (follow the links to find out precisely what each involves). Of course this is your day – so put any messages you want on your materials to show the Government you want a better, low carbon future for the UK and the world.

Plus, if you are a musician, stilt-walker, member of a dance troupe etc then please do come ready to play, dance or balance your way along the route of The Wave! The more music and visual impact we can bring to the day the better.

And by the way, don’t forget that London in December can be cold and wet. Make sure you wrap up warm and bring waterproofs and/or an umbrella just in case!

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11. Will There Be Toilets Provided?

We are only providing toilets for those in the family and accessibility zone at Grosvenor Sq, but anyone can find toilets on the march route by using SatLav! If you text the word 'toilet' to the number 80097 you’ll get a quick response text with details of the nearest facilities and their opening times. And once you get to Westminster, you can use the public toilets in the tube station.

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12. Why is The Wave Blue Not Green?

Even though the environment and climate change are normally associated with the colour green, we are a massive wave of people power, and waves are blue. Using one colour visibly unites this diverse movement of people in a creative and fun way. The colour blue also represents the planet whose resources we are draining, and the threat of sea-level rise and flooding due to climate change.

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13. What’s Coal got to do with Copenhagen?

Burning coal has been the single biggest cause of climate change. Preventing carbon emissions from coal is the single most important step the world needs to take to tackle climate change. By ruling out new coal-fired power stations that cannot capture their emissions, and by investing in a thriving renewable energy industry, the UK will show the way towards a low carbon future at Copenhagen.

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