Monday, November 29, 2021

Disappointment grows as marchers demand swift climate action

Thousands of climate activists marched on Saturday through the Scottish city that hosted the UN climate summit, physically close to global negotiators but separated by a vast gap in expectations, with frustrated marchers swiftly rejecting talks and called for immediate action rather than global slowdown. warming.

Despite the fury and rain showers, the atmosphere of protest in Glasgow was upbeat. Similar protests took place in London, Amsterdam, Paris, Dublin, Copenhagen, Zurich and Istanbul.

Many marchers condemned government leaders for failing to act swiftly, which they say is necessary, with some echoing activist Greta Thunberg’s Friday view that talks were just “blah, blah, blah.” ” Was.

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“We’re having these conversations, but don’t really have a policy to support them,” said Days Agazi, a London marcher at a Glasgow performance, shouting to the steady beat of drums.

“And on top of that, real people should be in the room,” Agazi said, referring to complaints that there is increasingly limited participation by the public at the Glasgow summit. “How are we supposed to make good policy when its stakeholders aren’t even in the room?”

Climate activists protest in the streets of London, November 6, 2021

Marchers were holding signs with messages including “Code Red for Humanity,” “Stop the big polluters,” “COP26, we’re looking at you” or simply “I’m angry.” A sign asked “If not you then who? If not now then when?”

Megan McClellan, 24, of Glasgow, said she suspected climate negotiators were listening.

“It’s a very easy thing for them to ignore. They’re nice and comfortable” inside the summit center, she said, which is surrounded by a steel fence.

But her 30-year-old friend Lucet Wood from Edinburgh disagreed.

“They can’t really do anything about it, but they pretend they do… and they’ll put it off for 20-30 years,” Wood said.

Thunberg’s dismissive talk about a two-week climate summit – with another week left – has touched a nerve both inside and outside the summit venue. Government leaders and negotiators insist they are as aware as those marching about the urgency of their action, to curb pollution from fossil fuels over time in the face of high levels of Earth warming. before doing.

Pakistan’s Jameela Khatoon gave a hint in Glasgow about three glaciers in her area that could disappear due to climate change.

“Glaciers are melting,” said Khatoon. “Villages are drowning. No one is doing anything.”

Ellen Knox, 69, and William Oliphant, 60, of Glasgow, said they were participating in the rally for the next generations.

“I’m dying before the worst happens,” Knox said. “It is the youth that we are leaving a terrible, terrible world.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, whose country is hosting the talks, has defended the progress made by governments in increasing emissions cuts and climate financing promises, while acknowledging public demands that more needs to be done. Is.

At the sprawling United Nations convention site, negotiators spent the seventh day in a row over draft agreements that could be passed to government ministers for political approval next week. Among the issues under discussion was a new commitment to cap global warming at 1.5 °C (2.7 °F), calling for countries to review their efforts more frequently to increase pressure for deeper cuts, and for poorer countries to adapt. was encouraged to provide more financial assistance. Climate change.

Summit president Alok Sharma told reporters that he understood the frustration of the protesters.

“I think we have made progress overall,” Sharma said on Saturday. “I think people have been creative in the conversation room.”

“We are reaching the point where the rubber hits the road, where we have to make tough decisions by government officials”, he said. “I certainly don’t underestimate the difficulty of the task that lies ahead of us.”

Saturday’s march attracted many participants and ages, a day after the Future Movement on Friday saw thousands of youth protest outside the fence of the Glasgow convention. Thunberg’s mix of school strikes, blunt and impatient talk about government excuses, and mass demonstrations have fueled climate protests, particularly in Europe, since 2018.

The climate protest movement – ​​and this year’s worsening droughts, hurricanes, floods, wildfires and other disasters around the world – has brought home many of the accelerated damages of global warming and calls on governments for stronger and faster action to reduce fossil fuels. pressure is maintained. fuel emissions.

Canada’s Member of Parliament and 16-time UN climate talks participant Elizabeth May said protests are making a difference.

“Most of the people inside are here in their hearts and sometimes physically,” May said, joining Glasgow protesters on Saturday.

In central London, thousands of climate protesters marched from the Bank of England to Trafalgar Square. Protester Sue Hampton, 64, said everyone is at risk and all generations need to press for action.

“We cannot let the youth here do all the work. We all have to do it together,” he said.

In Istanbul, climate protesters brought their children to a demonstration on Saturday, emphasizing the impact of global warming on future generations.

“I want my children to live on a beautiful planet,” said Kadriye Basut, 52, in Istanbul.

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This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

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