Redbridge Council is preparing to table a climate emergency motion – as local people join protesters taking to the streets in central London.

Susannah Knox, of Wanstead, took to the streets with Extinction Rebellion protesters to call for central Government to declare a climate emergency.

Protesters are gathered across three central London sites, Waterloo Bridge, Parliament Square and Marble Arch, to force the Government to take climate change seriously.

The protesters are warning that if global warming is not tackled by those in power now, in just 50 years’ time it will lead to thousands of people dying, global water level rises with some of the world’s most famous cities being submerged and issues with global food supply causing starvation.

Extinction Rebellion has promised to continue “non-violent civil disobedience” in London until the Government takes action.

The group wants the Government to “tell the truth” about how “deadly” the situation is, cut carbon emissions to zero by 2025 and create a “citizens’ assembly” to enforce the changes.

Ms Knox has been with protestors at Waterloo Bridge during the protests.

She said: “I decided to join the protestors because I feel that neither the Government nor big business is responding to the climate crisis fast enough or decisively enough.

“The issues we face in terms of climate heating, pollution and loss of biodiversity aren’t new – they’ve been repeatedly highlighted by scientists and international non-governmental organisations for many years.

“But despite this, the Government and businesses have ignored the facts and done woefully little to move us to a carbon neutral, sustainable society.

“Everything has now been left so late that urgent action is required to avoid runaway climate change, deal with overwhelming plastic pollution and reverse the mass extinction of plants and animals underway.”

Ms Knox hopes the protests will put pressure on the Government to adopt policies resulting in reduced carbon emissions.

She added there has been poor media coverage of climate issues and hopes the protests finally put climate change on front pages.

Just this morning the Daily Mirror ran its front page featuring an emaciated polar bear with a call to action on tackling climate change.

Ms Knox added: “I hope it will get people to think about the bigger picture and understand that this is now an urgent situation that will profoundly affect future generations.”

On Tuesday, Ms Knox was with protesters at Waterloo Bridge. She said police were going in to the crowd in small teams and removing protestors one by one.

She said: “There was no antagonism between the police and the protesters. The mood was amicable, peaceful and supportive. As protesters were taken by the police, others in the crowd thanked them for the personal action they were taking to raise awareness of the issue.

“The protesters were a really mixed group, young and old, some more hardened environmentalists, but lots of everyday people like me as well.”

In response to concerns raised, Redbridge Council is due to table a motion at its full council meeting in June calling for a climate emergency to be called by central Government.

Waltham Forest Council is tabling a similar motion at its full council meeting next week.

Already, more than 150 local councils across the UK have passed equivalent motions, putting pressure on central Government in the hope of change.

Cllr Paul Donovan, of Wanstead Village ward, Redbridge, said: “It is good to see people really taking action over the climate crisis. The direct action of the climate extinction protesters is born of frustration at the failure of national politicians to take this issue seriously.

“Climate change, loss of biodiversity and the pollution epidemic are threatening the very ecosystem on which we all depend – the time for action is now, which is something we are trying to do in Wanstead and more widely in Redbridge with our efforts to raise the climate emergency.”

Cllr Donovan is leading a group pushing for an environmental charter to be adopted in his ward – which would ensure greener policies are adopted throughout the area.