‘Cli­mate emer­gency’ protested around world

Lodi News-Sentinel - - FRONT PAGE -

BER­LIN — Cli­mate pro­test­ers gath­ered in cities from Aus­tralia to In­dia and Europe on Fri­day, cit­ing the “cli­mate emer­gency” de­clared by EU law­mak­ers just days be­fore a ma­jor cli­mate sum­mit opens in Madrid.

More than 2,400 cities in 158 coun­tries took part in demon­stra­tions across the globe, ac­cord­ing to the Fri­days for Fu­ture net­work. Green­peace, Ex­tinc­tion Re­bel­lion and other NGOs also held protests.

The protests come af­ter law­mak­ers in the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment voted on Thurs­day to de­clare a “cli­mate and en­vi­ron­men­tal emer­gency” in Europe.

The sym­bolic move urges the Euro­pean Union’s ex­ec­u­tive branch to align their ac­tiv­i­ties to limit global warm­ing to un­der 1.5 de­grees Cel­sius above pre-in­dus­trial lev­els, the more am­bi­tious of two tar­gets set out in the Paris cli­mate ac­cord.

The Ger­many chap­ter of Fri­days for Fu­ture likened the EU par­lia­ment’s ac­tions to a fire bri­gade scream­ing, “There’s a fire!”

On Fri­day, 630,000 peo­ple demon­strated in 520 Ger­man cities, ac­cord­ing to the Ger­man off­shoot of the cli­mate move­ment, in bike demos, block­ades, pic­nics and protests at coal plants.

The demon­stra­tions drew far fewer at­ten­dees than the huge “cli­mate strikes” seen across the globe in Septem­ber.

In Ber­lin, 60,000 par­tic­i­pants gath­ered at the Bran­den­burg Gate, or­ga­niz­ers said on Twit­ter. Two dozen young pro­test­ers jumped into the River Spree, de­spite lo­cal tem­per­a­tures of five de­grees Cel­sius.

Or­ga­niz­ers reck­oned with 30,000 at­ten­dees at a protest in Ham­burg. Hanover saw 40,000, while in Cologne, 20,000 pro­test­ers were ex­pected.

In Lis­bon, thou­sands gath­ered in front of the Por­tuguese par­lia­ment and fur­ther demon­stra­tions were planned in cities from Porto to Coim­bra, Faro, Pe­nafiel, Evora, Santa Maria, the Azores and Cal­das da Rainha.

In Bel­gium, hun­dreds of pro­test­ers were joined by or­ga­ni­za­tions from

Grand­par­ents for the Cli­mate, as well as the lo­cal Yel­low Vests off­shoot, Amnesty In­ter­na­tional and Ex­tinc­tion Re­bel­lion.

French demon­stra­tors hit the streets from Paris to Greno­ble, and in Lyon and Saint-Priest they protested against ex­ces­sive con­sump­tion on the Black Fri­day shop­ping hol­i­day, block­ing en­trances to Ama­zon ware­houses in a cam­paign they dubbed #Block­Fri­day.

Ac­cord­ing to or­ga­niz­ers, more than 300,000 peo­ple took part in the Ital­ian Fri­days for Fu­ture demon­stra­tions, in­clud­ing 30,000 in Rome, 25,000 in Mi­lan and 10,000 each in Turin and Naples. The protests also took aim at Black Fri­day, a day when global re­tail­ers of­fer dis­counts.

“Big brands are of­fer­ing dis­counts on con­sumer items to en­cour­age us to buy things we would nor­mally not buy. We need to change this un­sus­tain­able model,” Fri­days for Fu­ture Italia said.

“We are also demon­strat­ing ahead of the COP25 in Madrid to de­nounce the fence-sit­ting and the in­ac­tiv­ity of all of the world’s gov­ern­ments,” the group added.

The two-week COP25 en­vi­ron­men­tal sum­mit is due to be­gin in Madrid on Mon­day.

CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AF­PGETTY IMAGES

Par­tic­i­pants hold up plac­ards as they take part in a call for ac­tion on cli­mate change with a cou­ple of hun­dred peo­ple dur­ing a march in Tokyo on Fri­day.

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