Celebrities call themselves 'hypocrites' as they back Extinction Rebellion

16 October 2019, 12:21 | Updated: 16 October 2019, 19:59

A group of celebrities have called themselves "hypocrites" in a letter backing climate change protesters Extinction Rebellion.

More than 100 celebrities, including actor Jude Law, and Radiohead singer Thom Yorke, have signed the open letter, which says that journalists who have called them "hypocrites" are "right".

"We live high carbon lives and the industries that we are part of have huge carbon footprints," it says.

"Like you - and everyone else - we are stuck in this fossil-fuel economy and without systemic change, our lifestyles will keep on causing climate and ecological harm."

Other celebrities who have signed the letter include; former Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi; Spice Girl Mel B; actors Sienna Miller, and Benedict Cumberbatch; and the comedian Ruby Wax.

But the letter goes on to say the media should "tell the public the truth" about the climate crisis.

"The stories that you write calling us climate hypocrites will not silence us.

"Life on earth is dying. We are living in the midst of the 6th mass extinction," they write.

Also included is a quote from Sir David Attenborough, who said last year that the planet is facing a "man-made disaster...our greatest threat in thousands of years."

The signatories say they have been inspired by young climate campaigners, including Greta Thunberg, to speak out in support of Extinction Rebellion.

"We cannot ignore their call. Even if by answering them we put ourselves in your firing line."

One of those who signed is Alan Partridge and Stan And Ollie star Steve Coogan.

"Extinction Rebellion is a grassroots movement that should be applauded for putting this issue at the top of the agenda where it belongs," Mr Coogan said.

"I stand in full support of these brave, determined activists who are making a statement on behalf of us all."

Actress Dame Emma Thompson, who has not signed this letter, came under fire earlier this year for her participation in April's Extinction Rebellion protests, after it was revealed she had flown to the march in London from Los Angeles.

At the time, Dame Emma said: "I really do care about my children and my grandchildren enough to want to be here to stand next to the next generation who are so inspiring.

"I can't describe the level of hypocrisy from our government."

Extinction Rebellion are currently holding two weeks of protests in the centre of London, demanding urgent action to tackle the climate crisis.

:: A New Climate is a series of special podcasts from the Sky News Daily. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker

However, police have ordered the group to move on or risk arrest. So far, 1,642 protesters have been arrested and 133 charged.

Extinction Rebellion have demanded the government declare a climate emergency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025, and create a Citizen's Assembly to discuss climate justice.

In May, the UK became the first country in the world to declare an "environment and climate emergency", but Extinction Rebellion say that this was "symbolic and non-binding".

The government says it wants to produce net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, "a generation too late" according to XR.