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Climate Change Activists Camp Out during World Protests by Extinction Rebellion Movement

Determined activists glued themselves to the British government's Department of Transport building as police working

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Climate Change, Activists, World
Climate protesters pass Brexit banners and flags outside Parliament in London, Britain, Oct. 8, 2019. VOA

Hundreds of climate change activists camped out in central London on Tuesday during a second day of world protests by the Extinction Rebellion movement to demand more urgent actions to counter global warming.

Determined activists glued themselves to the British government’s Department of Transport building as police working to keep streets clear appealed to protesters to move to Trafalgar Square.

Cities in Australia, elsewhere in Europe and other parts of the world also had climate change protests for a second day.

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Climate Change, Activists, World
An Extinction Rebellion climate change protester hugs an inflatable planet Earth, near Downing Street in London, Britain, Oct. 8, 2019. VOA

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson appealed Monday to the protesters to stop blocking London’s streets. He called the activists “uncooperative crusties” who should abandon their “hemp-smelling bivouacs.”

Mike Gumn, 33, a National Health Service manager with two children, said he used a day of annual leave so he could attend the demonstration. Gumn, of Bristol, took umbrage at Johnson’s characterization of climate change activists as “hippies.”

“I want to make a statement that (the activists) are all different sorts of people from all different walks of life, not just people you would call hippies,” he said.

Authorities arrested 319 people at the London protests on Monday.

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Disruption continued in other major cities. In Brisbane, Australia, protesters chained themselves to intersections in the city center and three people locked themselves onto barrels filled with concrete. A protester hanging from a harness beneath Brisbane’s Story Bridge and brandishing “climate emergency” flags was taken into police custody and charged with unregulated high-risk activity.

Queensland police confirmed 29 people – ranging in age from 19 to 75 – were arrested in the city, and six others were arrested in Sydney after lying in a downtown street intersection.

More than 100 protesters dressed as bees at Sydney’s Hyde Park to highlight their claim that insects are under threat due to the impact of humans on the environment.

Some activists camped at Melbourne’s Carlton Gardens overnight before marching to a street corner locked down by more than 100 protesters in inclement weather. Police arrested 59 people for blocking an intersection.

Climate Change, Activists, World
Climate protesters from the Extinction Rebellion movement demonstrate at Town Hall in Sydney, Australia, Oct. 8, 2019. VOA

“I don’t know that shutting the city down necessarily wins you many friends,” Victoria premier Daniel Andrews said.

In Perth, about 50 protesters converged outside the offices of The West Australian, the city’s daily newspaper. The front page of Tuesday’s paper was left intentionally blank for protesters to use as a placard.

Founded in Britain last year, Extinction Rebellion has chapters in some 50 countries and wants to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2025.

On Monday, activists with the movement stopped traffic in European cities and smeared themselves and emblems of Wall Street in fake blood and lay in New York streets.

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In Berlin, 300 people blocked Potsdamer Platz, placing couches, tables, chairs and flowerpots on the road. They earlier set up a tent camp outside German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office out of dissatisfaction with her government’s climate policy.

Merkel’s chief of staff, Helge Braun, criticized the group’s tactics.

“We all share an interest in climate protection, and the Paris climate targets are our standard in this,” he told ZDF television. “If you demonstrate against or for that, that is OK. But if you announce dangerous interventions in road traffic or things like this, of course that is just not on.” (VOA)

 

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Escalating Consequences of Climate Change Hit Countries Globally

India was ranked fifth vulnerable globally

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Climate
As Climate impacts begin to result in permanent loss and damage across the world, there is still no specific UN climate finance facility to reimburse the loss of land, culture and human lives. Pixabay

The escalating consequences of Climate change are now hitting both rich and poor countries, a report published on Wednesday said. India was ranked fifth vulnerable globally.

The Climate Risk Index 2020, an annual report by Germanwatch, ranks countries according to their vulnerability to extreme weather events.

It was released in the Spanish capital on the sidelines of the 25th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) or COP25 that is being held in the backdrop of climate impact biting globally.

According to the report, India has also been badly affected, ranking fifth in the overall global vulnerability index in 2018, ranked first in terms of fatalities and second in the world in terms of losses in millions of dollars.

India’s overall ranking has drastically fallen from 14th in 2017, to fifth in 2018.

The report shows that extreme weather, linked with climate change, is affecting not only the poorer countries like Myanmar and Haiti, but also some of the world’s richest countries.

Japan is the worst-hit country in 2018, while Germany and Canada were both also in the ‘bottom 10’ i.e. the most affected.

The results reflect the increasing damage caused by heatwaves, which scientists have found are being worsened by climate change.

To explain this drastic fall in ranking in a year, David Eckstein, Policy Advisor (Climate Finance and Investment) with Germanwatch said: “India’s high rank is due to severe rainfall, followed by heavy flooding and landslides that killed over 1,000 people.”

The state of Kerala was especially impacted. The floods were described as the worst in the last 100 years.

Climate
A report shows that extreme weather, linked with climate change, is affecting not only the poorer countries like Myanmar and Haiti, but also some of the world’s richest countries. Pixabay

According to Eckstein, India was struck by two cyclones in October and November 2018 that also nearly killed 1,000 people. Last but not least, India also suffered from extreme heat. While the human death toll was kept considerably low due to public measures, the economic damage was quite severe.

Other countries ranking in the bottom 20 in the overall climate risk categories are the US at 12th, Vietnam at sixth, Bangladesh at seventh and France at 15th.

The report also points to the importance of negotiations at COP25. As climate impacts begin to result in permanent loss and damage across the world, there is still no specific UN climate finance facility to reimburse the loss of land, culture and human lives.

So far, the industrialised countries have refused to even negotiate it.

But at COP25, for the first time, financial support for climate-related loss and damage is high on the agenda.

For the poorest and most vulnerable countries, this climate summit is, therefore, of the utmost importance. They demand that states agree a deal to support those who are suffering, or at least acknowledge the necessity, with a pathway towards real help.

Otherwise the poorest countries will continue to rely on loans to cope with the consequences of climate change, which means they are threatened with excessive debts, undermining often already vulnerable economies.

In the talks that will last till December 13, India has been ambitious in its actions.

Climate
The escalating consequences of Climate change are now hitting both rich and poor countries, a report published on Wednesday said. India was ranked fifth vulnerable globally. Pixabay

It has emphasised that developed countries should take the lead in undertaking ambitious actions and fulfil their climate finance commitments of mobilising $100 billion per annum by 2020 and progressively and substantially scale up their financial support to inform parties for future action through Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

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India is also stressing upon the need for fulfilling the pre-2020 commitments by developed countries, and that pre-2020 implementation gaps should not present an additional burden to developing countries in the post-2020 period.

The Indian delegation will be led by Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, who is attending the summit from December 9. (IANS)