Thousands of climate activists took to the streets of Midtown Manhattan on Sunday, kicking off Climate Week ahead of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Protesters held banners reading “Stop using fossil fuels”, “Declare a climate emergency” and “I do not vote for fires and floods”. Protesters called on US President Joe Biden and world leaders to phase out fossil fuels, emphasizing their role in exacerbating climate change.
President Biden is among world leaders who will attend the United Nations General Assembly, scheduled for its official opening on Tuesday.
“We hold the power of the people, the power you need to win this election,” said Emma Buretta, 17, of Brooklyn of the youth protest group Fridays for Future. “If you want to win in 2024, if you do not want the blood of my generation to be on your hands, end fossil fuels.”
The 75,000 people who marched on Sunday came from about 700 organizations and activist groups, and drew people from all spheres.
“We have people all across the world in the streets, showing up, demanding a cessation of what is killing us,” US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told a cheering crowd. “We have to send a message that some of us are going to be living on, on this planet 30, 40, 50 years from now. And we will not take no for an answer.”
UN 2015 goals missing target
Many scientists believe that greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels contribute to global warming, leading to extreme weather events including storms, heat waves, floods, wildfires and droughts, as is currently the case around the world.
Reducing CO2 emissions is essential to combat climate change. Scientists warn that in the next five years, the world could experience unprecedentedly high temperatures, with a high possibility of surpassing the key milestone of an average increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Ahead of the upcoming UN climate summit COP28, more than 80 countries aim to reach an agreement to phase out coal, oil and gas.
A recent United Nations study has warned of the growing risk of global warming, emphasizing the need for comprehensive measures and drastic emissions cuts, including significant reductions in emissions. coal-fired energy by 2030, according to Reuters news agency.
The United Nations summit on the Sustainable Development Goals will open on Monday, aiming for a “global rescue plan,” according to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. He noted that only 15% of the Sustainable Development Goals adopted in 2015 were likely to be achieved, with some indicators even being reversed.
To achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, it is essential to eliminate the use of fossil fuels whose emissions cannot be captured or offset.
Fossil fuels reliance under scrutiny
Some leaders of major carbon-producing countries will not participate or appear at a new special summit hosted by the United Nations Secretary-General on Wednesday, leaving the forum for committed countries. undertake specific actions.
While President Biden has been especially supportive of green industry and allocated billions of dollars to clean energy, critics say he has not taken strong enough action to reduce America’s dependence on fossil fuels. jelly.
California sued five major oil companies on Friday, claiming they caused billions of dollars in damages and downplayed the dangers associated with fossil fuels to the public.
Over the past century, the United States has been the largest cumulative emitter of carbon dioxide, although China now produces the majority of annual emissions.
Protesters have experienced climate change events
Sunday’s protests marked a week-long global initiative by The Climate Group, a nonprofit that advocates for climate action. More than 500 protests were planned in 54 countries, including the United States, Germany, Britain, South Korea and India.
These gatherings, a precursor to the upcoming COP28 summit, reflect growing global concern as extreme weather events driven by climate change become more common.
American University sociologist Dana Fisher studies environmental movements and conducted surveys of march participants. She said 86% of those surveyed had recently been exposed to extreme heat, 21% had experienced flooding and 18% had experienced severe drought. Most of them said they felt sad and angry.
“Our lives are on the line.” 22-year-old Nalleli Cobo told AFP news agency.