Man on 18-day Westminster hunger strike demands MPs get crucial climate briefing

Angus Rose, 52, is demanding that UK politicians take the threat of global warming more seriously

Angus Rose is on hunger strike outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster. Photo: Angus Rose / Twitter

A man is on hunger strike in London demanding greater action on climate change from British politicians.

Angus Rose, 52, has gone 18 days without food. He has a sign and a wooden stool to sit on as he waits outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster.

The software engineer is demanding that MPs be given a crucial briefing on climate science that Prime Minister Boris Johnson described as his "Road to Damascus" moment on the issue of global warming.

So far, Mr Rose has lost at least 10.9 kilograms in weight, drinking zero-calorie drinks such as water, coffee and tea while refusing all offers of food.

Mr Rose is aware that the lack of nutrition could lead to lasting damage to his health, including cognitive impairments and heart arrhythmia, but he says he is undeterred such are his fears over irreversible climate change.

Mr Rose is demanding a ground-breaking report on climate change be delivered in parliament by England's Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance. He wants energy minster Greg Hands to organise the briefing, but the politician has not agreed to meet him.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was given the report by government scientists in January 2020.

Mr Johnson, who had previously had some reservations over climate science, said it was his "Road to Damascus" and said the facts delivered in it were “very hard to dispute”.

He said: “I got them to run through it all, and if you look at the almost vertical kink upward in the temperature graph, the anthropogenic climate change, it’s very hard to dispute. That was a very important moment for me.”

Mr Rose said he is worried about his five nephews and niece, describing climate change as “the worst case of intergenerational injustice inflicted by one human generation upon another”.

“This isn’t a joke. My nephews, my niece, their lives depend on the government to act, to protect. The most important duty to the citizens is to protect them from harm, and even more importantly for children and further generations,” Mr Rose told The Guardian.

Climate change protests have become commonplace across Britain in recent years.

About 174 people were arrested a total of 857 times during Insulate Britain protests across the south-east of England in September and November last year.

In January, Insulate Britain protestor Emma Smart, who been sentenced to four months for carrying out an illegal protest on a major British motorway, undertook a 26-day hunger strike while in prison and was moved to the hospital wing 13 days into her strike.

Earlier this month, climate activists staged a 10th series of worldwide protests to demand that leaders take stronger action against global warming, with some linking their environmental message to calls for an end to the war in Ukraine.

The Fridays for Future movement, inspired by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, called on demonstrations from Indonesia to Europe and the United States.

Updated: March 31, 2022, 3:10 PM