Global Climate Strike in New York
People take part in a Global Climate Strike, to demand governments to take action against global warming, on the sidelines of the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, in New York City on Friday. Photo: Reuters/BRENDAN MCDERMID

Global climate change protests demand compensation ahead of COP27

By Kate Abnett

Young activists rallied for climate action on Friday, staging protests from New Zealand and Japan to Germany and the Democratic Republic of Congo to demand that rich countries pay for the damage global warming is inflicting upon the poor.

The protests take place six weeks before this year's U.N. climate summit, known as COP27, where vulnerable countries will push for compensation for climate-related destruction to homes, infrastructure and livelihoods.

Demonstrations were planned in around 450 locations worldwide by youth movement Fridays for Future. They are timed to coincide with global leaders meeting in New York City at the U.N. General Assembly this week.

"One day, it could be my house that gets flooded," said 15-year-old Park Chae-yun, one of around 200 people protesting in Seoul, South Korea. "I'm living with a sense of crisis, so I think it is more important to deliver my concerns to the government to take preventive measures rather than going to school."

A protester who gave their name as Meta had the same worry in Indonesia: "If Jakarta is flooded, everyone who has money can leave. Where do I go? I will drown here in Jakarta."

Around 400 young activists gathered in the Democratic Republic of Congo's capital Kinshasa, chanting slogans such as "Act for Africa, protect our planet" and carrying cardboard signs reading "Climate Justice" and "Climate SOS" while walking on the shoulder of a busy thoroughfare.

In New York, at least 2,000 people gathered Friday afternoon for the march, chanting slogans such as, "the people united, shall never be defeated," as they went from Foley Square to lower Manhattan.

Shortly before 3 p.m. (1800 GMT), the crowd started gathering in Wall Streets' financial district in front of the famous bull statue, which has come to symbolize the stock market and big business.

Citing the catastrophic flooding 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 the greed in America and your leaders addiction to oil."

Nemonte Nenquimo, an indigenous leader from the Pastaza region in Ecuador's Amazon, spoke to the crowd, "I am here to make visible our battle throughout the Amazon ... We (have given) our lives to protect the planet."

Irreparable damage caused by climate change has heightened developing countries' demands for "Loss & Damage" compensation at COP27 in Egypt in November.

Leaders from these countries note the world is already facing climate-fueled disasters, including deadly floods engulfing large parts of Pakistan, wildfires ravaging Morocco and Canada and record-breaking heatwaves in Britain and India.

"The Least Developed Countries are bearing the brunt of the devastating consequences of climate change," Senegal's environment minister Abdou Karim Sall told a meeting in Dakar last week.

"The fundamental priority is to ensure new and additional funding to deal with it," he said.

The United States and 27-country European Union have historically resisted steps 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 top climate adviser to U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday said the head of the World Bank should "not mince words" on the scientific consensus on climate change after its president, David Malpass, this week tried to dodge a question about whether fossil fuels were dangerously warming the planet.

Malpass later clarified he was not a climate change denier, after facing a flurry of calls to resign.

The COP27 meeting in Sharm El Sheikh is not expected to yield a landmark deal like the one struck at the COP26 summit last November in Glasgow, which asked countries to do much more to curb planet-warming carbon emissions.

But it will be a litmus test for countries' willingness to cooperate on climate action, despite the fractious geopolitical backdrop, as many governments scramble to tame soaring inflation and grapple with the upheaval in energy markets caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

© Thomson Reuters 2022.

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

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COP 26, COP 27, keep copping out and see the fury that nature can unleash.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So it was all about money after all.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Direct compensation will never happen. If you live within 2m of sea level, you need to move. Humans walk 1,000+ miles with small children to find better economic situations, so you can too.

BTW, the US is also impacted by climate change - look at the 20 yr drought in the far west and the annual destruction caused by hurricanes in the Atlantic and Gulf. Just a few days ago, Puerto Rice - a US Territory - was hit hard by a hurricane.

Some areas of Puerto Rico got over 30 inches of rain. Houses are unlivable. Entire areas are flooded.

National Guard rescued many people during the flooding.

More than 900,000 are still without power. Passed hurricanes had Puerto Ricans living without power for over a year.

Hundreds of thousands are without water

The economy there will be hit with multi-billion dollar impacts from Fiona (the latest storm).

BTW, I used to live near sea level and saw flooding almost every year. After a not-so major tropical depression hit and put 2 ft of water into a neighbor's home, I found a job in a different state and moved. Now living at about 300m above sea level, happily.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Ok let's see what happens next.

Rich countries convinced the world that they were/are the cause of the ever worsening climate disasters.

Now that they believe

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

time to pay up

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

FYI, natural disasters occurred well before humans were burning fossil fuels. Building cities at or below sea level, or on flood zones. What could go wrong?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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