A pair of environmental activists from Surrey are hunger striking with Extinction Rebellion (XR) to raise awareness about the climate crisis.

Dee Fuchs, a complementary health practitioner from Leatherhead, and Aet Annist, 46, senior researcher in Anthropology are both taking part in XR's Global Hunger Strike.

The action sees XR activists and supporters from around the world go on hunger strike and refuse food for either one week (starting November 18) or on a 'rolling' basis of relay strikes lasting 24 hours per person.

Earlier today (November 20), hunger strikers Dee and Aet staged a protest outside Reigate Old Town Hall from 9.30am.

They said they want to urge authorities to take urgent action on the climate crisis and drastically reduce carbon emissions in line with scientific recommendations.

"I became aware of the climate crisis as a student 25 years ago. We've used all these conventional avenues to try to get a change and nothing has changed apart from getting worse," Aet told the Comet on Wednesday.

She consequently took the decision to get involved with XR's strategy of civil disobedience and is now hunger striking.

"It's the first time I've done something like this. It's the the first time that it actually feels that something is shifting in people's minds.

"The hunger strike itself is to draw attention to a specific issue — the climate crisis causes food insecurities and starvation," Aet pointed out.

"Global hunger itself is going up and this hasn't been the case for years and years," she added, discussing the speed with which climate change is now bringing global food supply into question.

Indeed, heatwaves and droughts in parts of Europe in recent years brought widespread crop failures that XR and some academics say are around the corner for the UK too.

According to a UN report from June of this year, climate change and conflict put 820 million people worldwide at risk of starvation, with the number of people suffering from hunger rising year by year over the last three years.

Eight per cent of people in Europe and North America currently suffer from food insecurity according to the World Health Organization.

Surrey Comet: XR hunger strikers Aet Annist and Dee Fuchs protest outside Reigate Town Hall on WednesdayXR hunger strikers Aet Annist and Dee Fuchs protest outside Reigate Town Hall on Wednesday

Activists like Aet and Dee say that the symbolic hunger strike they are taking part in is one of the only remaining options to raise awareness about how the climate emergency threatens food supply everywhere.

"In the last year and a half I've become slightly more hopeful and its because of XR's non-violent direct actions.

"We have the choice to do this. Our lives will be disrupted in the future if we don't do anything now and there are people living in parts of the world where that's already happening," Aet said.

Over 300 people in the UK have signed up to join XR's Global Hunger Strike, which also includes activists from Canada, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Germany, Sweden, Spain, the Netherlands, Australia, Turkey and the United States among other countries.