Recolight: Nigel Harvey arrested at Extinction Rebellion demonstration (again)

Nigel Harvey, CEO of WEEE scheme Recolight, was arrested at an Extinction Rebellion protest in Parliament square on Tuesday 1st September.

Who was that masked man?

Harvey was arrested around 2.30pm.  He was one of over 250 arrested in and around Parliament Square over the first two days.  The protestors were socially distanced and wore face masks.  He was seated peacefully on the ground when arrested, taken to Sutton police station and released at 9pm.  He was not charged or cautioned, but “released under investigation”.

Harvey was also arrested during the Extinction Rebellion protests in London in October 2019.

Nigel Harvey said “The science is crystal clear – 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% 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 since 2009.  He was the lighting industry’s Lux person of the year in 2012, and in 2020 was 18th in Resource Magazine’s “Hot 100” in the waste industry: “Willing to take a stand for the environment”.  He is also Chair of the WEEE Scheme Forum trade association.  He has been an influential voice in encouraging the lighting industry to adopt Circular Economy principles.  He has pressed for changes in the law to make online marketplaces responsible for the compliance of product sold on their sites.

Extinction Rebellion was established just two years ago, but is already operating in over 70 countries worldwide.  In the UK, the current protests are demanding that Parliament update the Climate Change Act, with a new Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill that would commit the country to immediate action.



And if you missed the most recent Recolight webinar discussing Lighting and the circular Economy – and therefore missed John Bullock explaining why the lighting industry needs to engage better with sustainability, you can watch John’s podcast here.

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