In the second week of the climate summit, considered the final stretch of diplomatic talks on environmental policies, the environmental protests of the climate summit intensify. This Wednesday, at the entrance to the venue, a veritable parade of protesters was seen.
Early in the morning, for example, a dozen medical scientists They have demonstrated in white coats to denounce that the advance of the climate crisis poses a serious risk to people’s health. “If the goal of 1.5 degrees dies, our patients too,” shouted a health worker. “Pollution is already causing thousands of deaths each year. Global warming is increasing the burden of disease. And because of the droughts there are millions of people suffering from malnutrition.What else do we need to realize the seriousness of the problem??”, sentenced another to the applause of the attendees.
A little later, a large group of protesters displayed a artificial ‘gas pipeline’ at the gates of the summit to draw attention to the danger posed by oil, gas and coal exploitation for the planet. Several activists have taken the floor to explain what this fight means to them. One has denounced that the communities most vulnerable to climate damage, such as those in the global south, are being excluded from negotiations. Another has emphasized the natural disasters that the climate crisis is causing in the poorest regions of the planet. “Keeping thermometers below 1.5 degrees is a matter of survival for my people“, has claimed an African activist.
In the afternoon, a demonstration led by indigenous peoples raised their voices in pro climate justice. “We are fed up with false solutions. We need real, fair and equitable measures,” shouted one of the protesters. In this case, the environmentalists stressed that, if it continues like this, the planet is heading towards a global increase in thermometers of more than 2.5 degrees on average. ” We are heading towards climate chaos. Science says exactly what we have to do to avoid it and yet we are going in the opposite direction,” exclaimed one activist. “We need system change, not climate change“Exposed one of the posters displayed during the protest.
“We need system change, not climate change”
All the demonstrations held this Wednesday have taken the opportunity to denounce the slowness of the negotiations and the lack of forcefulness of the agreements closed to date. One of the most repeated points by ecologists has to do with the crisis of fossil fuels. This year, according to the first drafts of the pacts, no explicit mention is included about the need to limit its use. “Keep ’em in the texts to keep ’em in the ground“Shouted one of the activists who demonstrated this Wednesday from Sharm el-Sheikh at the top of her lungs.
Protests under control
This year, unlike other climate summits, the presence of activists is less. The protests are more moderate. And in general, the protest environment is much more tenuous than usual in this type of encounter. This is due in large part to the idiosyncrasies of the event itself. The mere fact that the summit is taking place in a place like Sharm el-Sheikh has meant a hindrance to the displacement of many activists. Partly because of the visas. And partly because of the cost of the trip. The other big stumbling block has been the own rules of the meetingwhich establishes that all demonstrations must be authorized in advance by the Egyptian authorities.
Last year during the Glasgow summit, the The whole city was covered with posters. demands of different environmental groups. While the negotiations were taking place, in the streets there were dozens of simultaneous demonstrations in protest of climate inaction. The previous year, the Chilean summit moved to Madrid was held in the same atmosphere. That year, in fact, some of the largest environmental mobilizations till the date. All this protest atmosphere has disappeared in Sharm el-Sheikh.
This year, the only ‘big’ demonstration of the climate summit has taken place within the walls that host the event. It was held last Saturday, at the close of the first week of negotiations. Since then, there have not been any other large environmental demonstrations in Sharm el-Sheikh. The big protests for the climate summit are taking place, paradoxically, very far from the Egyptian city. Thousands of kilometers from the place where key conversations for the future of the planet are taking place.