After the U.N. climate summit in Poland, civil society groups have pledged to step-up international protests to drive rapid action on global warming.
The summit agreed on rules for implementing the 2015 Paris agreement, which aims to keep global warming as close to 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F) as possible, but it made little progress in increasing governments’ commitments to cut emissions. The world remains on track for 3 degrees C of warming, which scientists says will bring catastrophic extreme weather.
According to various NGOs, national leaders at the summit had failed to address the urgency of climate change, which is already making heatwaves and storms more frequent and intense, harming millions of people.
May Boeve, the executive director of the 350.org climate change campaign group, said: “Hope now rests on the shoulders of the many people who are rising to take action: the inspiring children who started an unprecedented wave of strikes in schools to support a fossil-free future; the 1,000-plus institutions that committed to pull their money out of coal, oil, and gas, and the many communities worldwide who keep resisting fossil fuel development.”
The school strikes began in August as a solo protest by 15-year-old Greta Thunberg in Sweden. Addressing the summit in Poland, she said: “If children can get headlines all over the world just by not going to school, then imagine what we could all do together if we really wanted to.”
“You say you love your children above all else,” Thunberg continued, “and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes. We have run out of excuses and we are running out of time. We have come here to let you know that change is coming, whether you like it or not. The real power belongs to the people.”
Members of the Extinction Rebellion (XR) movement said there was a rising tide of protest. “We pay tribute to activists, students, civil society, and the leaders of vulnerable countries who are rising up all over the world demanding more,” said Farhana Yamin, from XR U.K. “We need now to work together to build an emergency coalition focused squarely on tackling climate devastation.”
Jennifer Morgan, the executive director of Greenpeace International, said: “People are fed up, outraged and are taking action to defend their homes and children and pushing their leaders to act. These people are the hope of our generation and governments must finally stand with them and give us all reasons for hope.”
Source- The Guardian