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Climate Change

September 18, 2023 12:54 PM IST

Climate Emergency: Activists march in New York to End Fossil Fuels

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Tens of thousands of protesters kicked off “Climate Week” and filled the streets of Midtown, Manhattan, on Sunday (September 17) ahead of the U.N. General Assembly this week, calling for President Joe Biden and world leaders to end fossil fuel use.

They are demanding the governments to rapidly end their reliance on fossil fuels, as the escalating effects of rising carbon emissions are felt around the globe through devastating floods, fires and storms.

The march is stressing on the climate emergency that planet earth now faces. With parades, concerts, and banging drums, protesters waved signs that read “Biden End Fossil Fuels”, “Fossil Fuels Kill” and “Declare a Climate Emergency.” The message was for world leaders to save the planet from the use of oil and gas believed to be driving a warming globe. At a protest rally, Democratic U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called on Biden and world leaders to end the use of fossil fuels across the globe.

“”We will not give up, we will not let go. We will not allow cynicism to prevail. We will not allow our vision of a collaborative economy, of dignity for working people, of honoring the Black, brown, indigenous, white working class. We will not give up. And that is what we are here to do today to tell our leaders from President Biden to the U.N. General Assembly to all of our elected officials that we demand a change,” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said.

Sunday’s protests were part of a week-long international effort by Climate Group, a non-profit whose purpose is to drive climate change action and stop global warming, with more than 500 protests planned in the U.S, Germany, England, South Korea, India and elsewhere, totaling 54 countries. Organizers of the protests expect a global turnout of more than a million people.

Further, on September 17, Climate activists sprayed orange and yellow paint on the columns of Berlin’s landmark Brandenburg Gate to push demands for a stop to the use of fossil fuels by 2030.

The protest is also joined by scientists and environment experts who believe time is rushing to save the earth from the worst of climate change. Peter Kalmus, a NASA climate scientist said that we have to stop expanding fossil fuels and ramp down fossil fuels as quickly as we can.

Almost every climate forum stresses on reducing carbon emission and lowering the planet’s temperature, that is impacting every form of living being. According to an IMF analysis, in spite of the global pledges to limit earth’s warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius as enshrined in the 2015 Paris Agreement, governments provided a record-breaking $7 trillion in subsidies to oil, gas and coal last year.

Many scientists believe that so-called greenhouse gases caused by burning fossil fuels are warming the world and causing severe weather such as more intense hurricanes, heat waves, floods, wildfires and droughts. Reductions in CO2 or carbon dioxide emissions are seen as a key element in abating climate change.

On September 20, 2023, the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres will convene global leaders at the UN in a Climate Ambition Summit to gather momentum ahead of COP28 which will be held later this year in Dubai.

The demonstrations take place two months before this year’s U.N. COP28 climate summit, where more than 80 countries plan to push for a global agreement to gradually phase out coal, oil and gas.

(Inputs from Reuters)

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