Protests against global climate change are demanding compensation before COP27

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BRUSSELS, Sept. 23 (Reuters) – Young activists mobilized on Friday for climate action, staging protests from New Zealand and Japan to Germany and the Democratic Republic of Congo to ask rich countries to pay for the damage global warming is inflicting. to the poor.

The protests take place six weeks before this year’s UN climate summit, known as COP27, where vulnerable countries will push for compensation for the destruction of climate-related homes, infrastructure and livelihoods.

Demonstrations have been planned in approximately 450 locations around the world by the youth movement Fridays for Future. They are scheduled to coincide with the meeting of global leaders in New York City at the United Nations General Assembly this week.

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“Someday, my house could be flooded,” said Park Chae-yun, 15, one of about 200 people who protested in Seoul, South Korea. “I’m living with a sense of crisis, so I think it is more important to convey my concerns to the government to take preventive measures rather than go to school. “

A protester who gave Meta’s name had the same concern in Indonesia: “If Jakarta is flooded, everyone with money can leave. Where am I going? I will drown here in Jakarta.”

About 400 young activists gathered in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital, Kinshasa, chanting slogans like “Act for Africa, protect our planet” and carrying cardboard signs reading “Climate Justice” and “SOS Climate” while they walk on the edge of a busy road.

In New York, at least 2,000 people gathered on Friday afternoon for the march, chanting slogans like “the united people will never be defeated” as they walked from Foley Square to Lower Manhattan.

Just before 3pm (1800 GMT), crowds began gathering in the Wall Street financial district in front of the famous bull statue, which has become the symbol of the stock market and big business.

Citing the catastrophic floods in Pakistan that displaced millions of people this year, one speaker told the crowd: “The rains came from the sky, but the floods came from greed in America and the oil addiction of the people. your leaders “.

Nemonte Nenquimo, an indigenous leader from the Pastaza region of Ecuador’s Amazon, spoke to the crowd: “I am here to make our battle visible throughout the Amazon … We have (we have given) our lives to protect the planet”.

‘DEVASTATING CONSEQUENCES’

The irreparable damage caused by climate change has increased the demands of developing countries for “Loss & Damage” compensation at COP27 in Egypt in November.

The leaders of these countries note that the world is already facing climate-induced disasters, including deadly floods engulfing much of Pakistan, wildfires ravaging Morocco and Canada, and record-breaking heatwaves in Britain and India.

“Least developed countries are bearing the brunt of the devastating consequences of climate change,” Senegalese environment minister Abdou Karim Sall said at a meeting in Dakar last week.

“The key priority is securing new and additional funding to address it,” he said.

The United States and the European Union of 27 countries have historically resisted measures that could require rich nations to pay compensation for causing climate change.

But pressure is mounting on global institutions to stop funding fossil fuel industries.

A leading climate advisor to US President Joe Biden on Friday said the World Bank head “shouldn’t mince words” on the scientific consensus on climate change after his president, David Malpass, tried to dodge this week. the question of whether fossil fuels were dangerously warming the planet.

Malpass later made it clear that he was not a climate change denier, after facing a flurry of resignation requests.

The COP27 meeting in Sharm El Sheikh should not lead to a historic agreement like the one reached at the COP26 summit last November in Glasgow, which called for countries to do much more to reduce carbon emissions from global warming.

But it will be a litmus test for countries’ willingness to cooperate in climate action, despite the challenging geopolitical environment, as many governments rush to tame soaring inflation and grapple with the upheaval of energy markets caused by the invasion. of Ukraine.

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Reporting by Reuters agencies; Written by Kate Abnett and Aurora Ellis; Editing by Katy Daigle, Alison Williams and Josie Kao

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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