The chief executive of Friends of the Earth has said that he supports the Extinction Rebellion (XR) protests in London because people “have to do more than just signing petitions” to stop climate change.
The environmental protesters have disrupted London’s roads for a week in attempt to force the government to call a climate change emergency.
The group announced the protests would come to “voluntarily end” on Thursday afternoon.
Friend of the Earth’s Craig Bennett told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer: “You know what would be great is if government really started getting serious about this and treating it with the urgency it deserves, then you would not need it.
“I am not saying that anything is justified. I do not necessarily agree with every tactic but I just want to say that we have to do more than just signing petitions.
“The real issue here is that there are so many solutions to climate change and we need to get on with it.”
Julia argued that the UK was “ahead of the game” in terms of tackling climate change issues.
Mr Bennett responded: “We can’t just judge action on what has happened in the past, we need to judge action on whether it can succeed in stopping runaway climate change.”
“So what we have done so far costing us billions of pounds is not making any difference?” Julia asked.
Mr Bennett suggested that actions like green taxes and renewable energy were “saving us billions of pounds”.
He added: “Climate change is going to be the biggest hit to the economy ever, according to economists.”
More than 1,000 people have been arrested during XR protests which started on April 15, while more than 10,000 police officers have been deployed.
As of Tuesday evening, Scotland Yard had charged 69 people in connection with the protests.
The Friends of the Earth CEO added "time is
“Time is up for politicians to act on climate change. We have been talking about it for years.
“We have seen some action but is it enough to stop the huge emergency we are facing? It is not.
“If you agree with history that what the suffragettes did was right, then it is time for us to up the ante on this.”