A PLANNED climate protest in Worcester has been postponed after the national coronavirus lockdown came into effect.

'Rebels' from Extinction Rebellion's Worcestershire branch had been due to hold a "climate crime scene" in the city on January 16, but this has been postponed.

The aim of the protest was, according to the group: "To demonstrate how Worcestershire County Council are not acting with urgency" regarding climate change.

During the protest, members of the group were going to set up mock crime scenes in a number of city locations, including Cathedral Plaza, with climate messages calling for more action to be taken.

On the Worcestershire Extinction Rebellion website, a spokesman said: "We want WCC (Worcestershire County Council) to fully recognise the climate and ecological emergency and to lead now on carbon reduction for the whole of Worcestershire, including transport emissions, waste and buildings, so that as a county, we can quickly transition to be zero-carbon.

"Typically, WCC considers only 'direct services such as street lighting, but we need it to take the lead across all emissions in Worcestershire.

"As our local authority, it is in the most powerful position to give a strategic lead to all other authorities, businesses and institutions operating within the county, not to mention individual residents."

Last month, Extinction Rebellion members in Worcester and Upton took part in demonstrations following flooding in the region.

Dressed in office attire and with office props, they protested against "business as usual" during extreme weather events.

The XR spokesman added: "The Covid-19 pandemic has shown the British public can change the ways we live, work and play if the reasons and urgency are clearly explained.

"The climate emergency is no different. We sense that a majority of the public is ready to respond to effective leadership on this crucial issue.

"Will WCC be bold and creative in leading Worcestershire's residents towards a genuinely sustainable and carbon-neutral future?"

Despite the criticism aimed at the council, a spokesman referred to its Carbon Reduction Plan, which was approved in October last year.

The plan says: "The Council have been working to reduce carbon emissions over many years; in the last decade our own emissions have reduced by 40%.

"Much of this progress has been realised through improvements to our buildings, street lighting, reductions in staff travel and a change in the way that household waste is disposed of in the county - namely from landfill to energy from waste.

"We have taken significant action on our emissions reduction journey; from starting to invest in electric fleet vehicles, upgrading street lighting to LED and investing in renewable energy generation on our sites.

"Whilst this is not an exhaustive list, we realise that there is much more we need to do to reduce our emissions, and we intend to rise to the challenge.

"Among the considerations are transitioning to non-fossil-fuelled heating systems and fleet vehicles; further investment to improve energy efficiency in Council property and streetlights; further investment in renewable energy, and the ability of the Council to offset remaining GHG carbon emissions.

"Everyone has a very important part to play in reducing carbon emissions, and the Council is working hard to reduce our direct impact in this area, as well as playing our part in delivering the county’s Energy Strategy, which aims to halve Worcestershire’s countywide carbon emissions by 2030.

"Now, more than ever, it is fundamentally important for us to act to protect our environment, for the benefit of all."