After days of virtually no demonstrations, small protests turned out outside the United Nations climate conference on Friday to call on the developed world to fight global warming more fairly and effectively.
The protesters demanded that rich countries compensate developing countries for climate change, demanded the abandonment of the controversial oil pipeline project in Africa, and complained about the lack of political will to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which are the main cause of global warming.
Often a big presence at climate talks, protests have been mostly modest this year, in stark contrast to previous climate conferences where there have been mass demonstrations. Activists attributed this to the high costs of travel and accommodation in this spa city. There were also fears that the Egyptian government would crack down on it, despite its promises to allow protests in a certain location. Street protests are practically prohibited in Egypt. Activists are also increasingly suspicious of its usefulness.
Friday’s protests, like others in recent days, took place in and around the main convention centre.
“We need countries like the United States to be leaders on climate, supporting people, supporting the planet, supporting future generations,” said Vanessa Nakati, a Ugandan climate activist and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. “My message to President Joe Biden is: Will you show us the investment? Will you stand shoulder to shoulder with the most vulnerable communities?”
In one of the protests, dozens of medical personnel from different countries lay on the ground and performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation to show the urgent need to respond to the effects of climate change. Activists have called for a treaty to stop using fossil fuels.
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