THE CHIEF of one of the lighting industry’s leading lamp and luminaire recycling schemes has been arrested at a climate change protest in London.
Nigel Harvey, CEO of Recolight, was part of an Extinction Rebellion demonstration in Parliament Square when police moved in to clear the streets.
He was seated peacefully on the ground when arrested, taken to Sutton police station and released at 9pm later in the evening. He was not charged or cautioned, but ‘released under investigation’.
Harvey, a passionate environmentalist, was one of over 250 arrested over the first two days of the event. The protestors were socially distanced and wore face masks.
He was also arrested during previous Extinction Rebellion rallies in London in October 2019.
‘The science is crystal clear ,’ Harvey told the Press on his release. ‘We are in a climate emergency.’
‘And although we have only hit 1.1 degrees of global heating so far, the impacts are already being felt around the globe.
‘More fires in Australia, California and Siberia. More extreme weather events such as hurricanes in Southern Africa and the US.
‘Ice sheets and glaciers are melting. More flooding and heatwaves in Europe. The wheat crop in the UK is down 40 per cent this year.
‘One in five species on earth now faces extinction. And sadly, this is just the start. It will get much worse.
‘The Covid crisis has shown that Governments can take decisive action when necessary. And yet, when it comes to the climate emergency, head-in-the-sand attitudes still prevail.
‘I know that the lack of decisive action by Governments around the world is likely to result in hundreds of millions of deaths, and will make large parts of the world unliveable.
‘I cannot, in good conscience, stand aside. So again, I have been willing to be arrested to draw attention to the urgent action we all need.
‘The very real risks to the lives and livelihoods of our children and grandchildren are too awful to contemplate.
‘I have spent the last decade trying to reduce my carbon footprint, and helping others to do so. And yet emissions keep on rising.
‘Conventional lobbying does not work, because no politician will take the tough decisions that are needed.
‘They are focused on the short term of the parliamentary cycle. We have run out of time and non-violent civil disobedience is the only route left open.
‘It worked for Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks in the US Civil Rights movement. It worked for Ghandi and Indian independence. And it can also work for Climate Emergency.’
Nigel Harvey has been CEO of Recolight, an industry scheme to enable compliance with the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment, since 2009. In 2012 he was named the lighting industry’s Lux Person of the Year in 2012, and in 2020 was included in Resource Magazine’s ‘Hot 100’ in the waste industry.
He is also Chair of the WEEE Scheme Forum trade association.