Environmental campaigners have set up a climate camp outside of Cornwall Council's offices calling for more serious measures to be taken to protect the climate.
The group pitched up tents in the early hours of Monday morning (23 May) at County Hall in Truro. They intend to stay for two weeks to "provide a hub for education, training, activism and, hopefully, dialogue between campaigners, councillors and council staff".
The campaigners have been asked to move on for safety reasons but the council says that the group has declined to.
The activists hope to put pressure on the council to improve its goal of net zero carbon emissions for Cornwall by 2030, which they have made some headway towards.
Charlie Lewin, climate protester and environmental textile artist said: "It's not something I want to do, I don't really want to be here.
"But I actually feel that I have no choice, and I'm here because I have children and I have a duty of care for their future."
The West Cornwall resident added: “Cornwall Council has made some headway towards its goal of net zero carbon emissions for Cornwall by 2030.
"But sadly, this goal is utterly unattainable without a dramatic and urgent increase in commitment and action.
"We are living in a climate emergency; the acceleration of this can not be avoided by halfmeasures. Our camp is here to increase pressure on the council to challenge the status quo, step outside of their comfort zone and get on the right side of history.
"We hope very much that councillors and council staff will embrace the opportunity that this camp affords."Today (24 May) the climate camp joined with other local campaigners to welcomecouncillors as they arrived for their annual meeting.
Myghal Ryual, one of the climate campaigner's, said: People will be sleeping and staying here over the next couple of weeks, we already have quite a few tents pitched.
"I have to stress that Cornwall Council is making progress, they called an ecological and climate emergency and the climate emergency was called in 2019, but since that time very little has been done, and so what the camp is here for is to really highlight the lack of action."
Councillor Martyn Alvey, Cornwall’s cabinet member for environment and climate change, said: “Cornwall Council is an open and accessible council which recognises the importance of peaceful protest in a democratic society.
"While we respect everyone’s right to demonstrate we have to balance that with the needs of the public accessing New County Hall and vulnerable residents nearby.
“The grounds are not designated or suitable for camping with no fresh water or welfare facilities available. For safety reasons we have asked the group of demonstrators to remove their tents and vehicles by 7pm this evening and I have met the leaders formally in New County Hall and informally on their temporary camp.
"They have declined to comply with the request. As such we have introduced additional security measures in the public building and are liaising with our legal team and the police in respect of the next steps.
“We are recognised as one of the country’s leading authorities in tackling the climate emergency and we are working with communities to accelerate our programme to help Cornwall become carbon neutral. As part of our County Deal negotiations with government we want Cornwall to become the first net-zero region in the country.
“We cannot fight climate change alone and we all need to pull together. We are working with community and environmental groups, schools and young people, businesses, town and parish councils, the voluntary sector and everyone who, like us, is committed to cutting Cornwall’s carbon footprint and reducing the impacts of climate change.”