Global marchers demand urgent action ahead of UN climate conference

World Today

Rallies around the world are demanding tougher action on climate change. They kicked off in Australia, where wildfires have claimed four lives this month that some blame on climate change.

Elsewhere in the world, demonstrators clashed with shoppers trying to take advantage of so-called Black Friday deals. The marches come just days before the annual U.N. Climate Conference convenes in Madrid. CGTN’s Toby Muse reports.

On Black Friday, a busy shopping day of discount deals and a symbol of consumerism, thousands of activists staged protests across the globe to show the harmful effects on the environment of constant consumption.

In Frankfurt, Germany, activists blocked access to stores in a shopping mall as shoppers searched for deals.

“I am striking today to protest the climate crisis, which is caused by a desire for profit, and pushed for to benefit a few people in politics and industry, and which is destroying the livelihood of people already,” protester Lucia Steinwander said.

In Madrid, Spain, which is preparing to host the annual Climate Conference next week, activists from Greenpeace scaled a building, unfurling a massive banner reading: “Consumerism = Climate Crisis.” One protester held a sign that said: “Black Friday, Black Planet.”

“I would love to be up there,” said event organizer Danila Sanchez. “I do like it, and of course shops and consumerism affect climate change. It is a real emergency and we have to be conscious of it. With little actions we make every day we can help the cause, even if we think it doesn’t help.”

Police moved in, arresting some of the protesters.

In New Delhi, demonstrators held a so-called die-in to demand action before it’s too late.

“Anyone who is staying in Delhi knows that we have seen our environment go from bad to worse and this Delhi smog was just the beginning of it,” said one demonstrator. “It’s pretty simple, we want everyone around us, the government, the people, to realize and acknowledge the fact that right now we have a climate emergency and to treat it the same way.”

Some shoppers in France took matters into their own hands, pushing through the blockade to reach the discounted merchandise inside.

Protesters gathered in front of the United States capitol in Washington, DC. Among them was U.S. actress Jane Fonda, who has been repeatedly arrested for her involvement in recent protests. Children urged the government to cut carbon emissions.

Environmental scientists warn that irreversible changes may be taking place: the warming of the Arctic, the melting of the ice sheets and the destruction of rain forests. Activists said the world’s governments are not doing enough. Are the governments listening? The results of the Madrid conference will be a good indication.