Insulate Britain pause road-blocking protest campaign in U.K.

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LONDON —
Environmental protesters pressuring the British government to insulate all homes within a decade as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions have halted their disruptive road-blocking campaign until Oct. 25, just days before the start of the UN climate summit in the Scottish city of Glasgow.

In an open letter to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the group known as Insulate Britain apologized Thursday for the disruption its demonstration caused but said the urgency of climate change necessitated unconventional actions.

“Insulate Britain would like to take this opportunity to profoundly acknowledge the disruption caused over the past five weeks,” it said. “We cannot imagine undertaking such acts in normal circumstances. But the dire reality of our situation has to be faced.”

Participants in the group’s protest blocked many major roads in and around London, causing traffic misery for drivers. Members of the group also glued themselves to roads. Police made dozens of arrests during the weekslong action.

The group wants Johnson’s Conservative government to insulate “all of Britain’s 29 million leaky homes by 2030, and all social housing by 2025,” a policy that it says would pay dividends in the urgent battle against climate change.

“We invite you to make a meaningful statement that we can trust…that your government will take the lead needed to insulate and retrofit our homes,” the group said in its letter.

The upcoming UN Climate Change Conference, known as COP26, is scheduled to take place Oct. 31-Nov. 12. It is being billed by many environmentalists as the world’s last chance to turn the tide in the battle against climate change.

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