A couple from Surbiton showed their support for the Extinction Rebellion protests by baking flapjacks for demonstrators and police alike.

Philip Smith and his partner live in Surbiton and like many people are increasingly concerned by the threats posed by climate change.

After seeing protestors from the Extinction Rebellion activist group occupy several key sites in Central London this week, they decided to put their baking skills to good use and help contribute to the movement by handing out some vegan flapjacks to the demonstrators and police, many of whom have remained at the occupation sites for hours or even days on end.

Speaking to the Surrey Comet, Mr Smith, a former bank manager at Barclays, said that the flapjacks had been very well received by the protestors, though the police politely rejected the offer of the food.

Mr Smith said: "My wife and I cooked 48 flapjacks. I did half and she did the other half — we needed two separate bakes! Then I went up to central London on Tuesday morning (April 16).

"They're camping there and they're going to run out of food. So I went there and donated them to the cause, offering them to the policemen as well... It was an atmosphere of mutual respect among everyone."

"I handed out about a quarter at Waterloo Bridge. Then I managed to find a temporary catering unit they've set up at the Marble Arch occupation.

"While I was there a couple of homeless people approached the activists asking for money. The response of the woman organising the catering was to give them both a plateful of hot food. These are the kind of nice people involved."

The occupations in London are part of a wider campaign of civil disobedience being led by Extinction Rebellion and supporting environmental groups and movements such as Youth Strike For Climate.

The movement has made global headlines after staging occupations in major cities around the world, including London, New York, Paris, Cape Town, São Paulo and Seoul, among scores of other sites.

Campaigners are demanding that national governments "tell the truth" about the affects of climate change as predicted by environmental scientists, and subsequently act to drastically lower carbon emissions in their respective countries in order to mitigate climate breakdown.

Mr Smith said that he felt obligated to help Extinction Rebellion and their campaign of civil disobedience due to the scale of the dangers posed by climate breakdown.

Mr Smith said: "I'm recently retired and I wanted to spend more time doing good, really. I'm getting increasingly worried as the years go by about climate change or climate breakdown as we are now experiencing.

"I've got children and hopefully grandchildren one day and I thought 'I don't want to go to my grave without having done everything I possibly could to protect the planet and make their lives and their generation as comfortable as possible.'"

Mr Smith said: "It's unfortunate people are getting disrupted but when we know what is coming and we can see completely insufficient action being taken, what else are we supposed to do?"

Making references to former campaigns of civil disobedience, like the suffragettes, that won significant gains for democracy from the political establishment using such methods, Mr Smith said that he'd also given financial support to the Extinction Rebellion campaign due to the validity of their cause.

Mr Smith said: "It's being inspired by hundreds of scientists and academics — far brighter than you or I.

All the people I met (at the demonstrations) were just lovely. It's a cross-section of society from across the country and we need this drastic action necessary to avert climate breakdown and ecological collapse."

Climate change is driven forward by the carbon emissions created by modern industrial civilization.

The United Nations has called on governments worldwide to decarbonise their economies drastically, to achieve net zero emissions globally by 2050 in order to avoid "catastrophic" climate change.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which includes more than 1,300 scientists from across the globe, forecasts a global temperature rise of 1.4-5.8 degrees Celsius over the next century.

The latest report released by the IPCC highlighted the likely effects of just 1.5 degrees of global warming, including loss of livelihoods, food insecurity, population displacement, health effects and more.