Climate activists have submitted a dossier of evidence to Greater Manchester Police suggesting that Boris Johnson, and two former Conservative Prime Ministers have enacted policy decisions that have increased the risk of climate change rather than reducing it, and are therefore responsible for  increasing numbers of deaths due to climate ‘genocide’.

Activists fighting climate change have called on Greater Manchester Police (GMP) to prosecute Prime Minister Boris Johnson for genocide. The activists claim that Johnson, and his two PM predecessors Theresa May and David Cameron, have directly contributed to climate change-driven loss of life due to the policies they have enacted while in government that have failed to alleviate the climate crisis.

Members of Climate Genocide Act Now presented a dossier of evidence supporting their claims to the GMP at their headquarters in Moston, Manchester on 20 December, the anniversary of the Nuremberg trials. The national action by CGAN also saw police stations around the UK being presented with the same documents.

The European Commission calculates that climate change attributable deaths in the EU will reach an annual average of 40,000 between 2010 and 2040, and will increase to more than 140,000 in the last 30 years of the century, if we continue emitting greenhouse gases at high levels. The model used included deaths caused by excessive heat and heat waves, respiratory diseases and certain infectious diseases that are exacerbated by increased temperatures.

The World Health Organisation calculates that globally there will be 250,000 deaths a year on average attributable to climate change between 2030-2050.
genocideGenocide is usually defined by the International Criminal Court as the attempt to destroy as the attempt to destroy, in whole or part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group. The CGAN state that they are making an accusation of genocide because:

“In this case, in this unprecedented moment in human history, it refers to the destruction of a large part of humanity as a whole – the poorer parts of the world who did least to cause the climate crisis going first.”

The activists claim that Johnson, Cameron and May, as successive heads of the UK Government, are jointly culpable for the Government’s failings as a signatory of the Paris Agreement in 2016, which aimed to strengthen the global response to climate change. They accuse the current PM and two ex-PMs of enacting policy decisions that have increased the climate crisis rather than reducing it, leading to deadly weather events, famine and conflict across the globe.

The UK government claim that greenhouse gas emissions were 44% below 1990 levels in 2018, according to the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), who undertake annual assessments to see whether the UK is on course to meet its carbon budgets. According to the CCC the UK is on track to meet it carbon budget for 2018-22, but will overshoot its budget for the period 2023-27.

However Greta Thunberg recently told MPs in  Westminster, that the UK’s true emissions reduction was more like 10% below 1990 levels in 2018  and accused the government of “very creative carbon accounting”. Thunberg was referring to DEFRA produced consumption emissions figures, not used officially by the UK government, which consider emissions due to imports, international aviation and shipping.

Climate Genocide Action Now
Climate Genocide Action Now activists at the GMP headquarters with Prof Julia Steinberger (on the right)

The Climate Genocide Act Now group includes many members also involved with Extinction Rebellion. One of the CGAN action organisers, Jo Murphy, said:

“As members of Extinction Rebellion we have in the past been to court and been told to respect the law, and encouraged by magistrates to use it to oppose our government’s criminal behaviour. So this is why we are here today’.

The CGAN activists delivering the dossier to the Moston GMP headquarters were joined by Julia Steinberger, a Professor of Ecological Economics at the University of Leeds. Steinberger is also a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and has won awards for her “Living Well Within Limits” investigation into how universal human well-being might be achieved within planetary boundaries.

A Manchester CGAN spokesperson reports that the GMP “did not dispute that our case had a basis in fact and that it was applicable to Greater Manchester”. But the GMP advised the activists to take their case to the War Crimes Unit of the London Metropolitan Police as they said they did not have the capability to conduct an investigation of this sort. London News Online reports that the documents were accepted at three other police stations in the UK and a crime reference was given.

A Manchester CGAN spokesperson said in response to the GMP’s refusal:

“Given the total failure of the COP25 process in Madrid and our re-elected government being still set on the same genocidal path we will be pursuing this course of action with the utmost urgency.”


Conrad Bower

Feature image: Climate Genocide Action Now


Read: Can degrowth steer us towards a sustainable future?

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  • Conrad Bower

    Reporting interests include social justice, the environment, and human rights. A staunch advocate for the scientific method and rational debate for understanding the world - he believes only greater public understanding and engagement with the problems affecting society, can produce the progressive change we need. Co-founder of The Meteor.


Reader Interactions


  1. Thunberg doesn’t the faintest idea about the actual science. This is just more “look at me, aren’t I wonderful” egotism. If you were really concerned you’d be protesting outside the Chinese embassy

  2. I feel completely let down by our government watching our Primeministers ignoring and trying to move away from what science is telling us, as they choose economics over the health of what truly sustains us – our planet.
    Seeing this action fills me with gratitude and hope, that perhaps there may be a way to make those who are leading us deeper towards these disasters accountable. Hopefully changing the kamikaze course we are currently steering.

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