Thousands turned out for climate change marches in Manila and Brisbane yesterday, part of a weekend of action across the globe to demand results from next week’s Paris summit.
Religious clergy, students and activists marched through the Philippine capital, calling for curbs on emissions, which are blamed for bringing climate change and a spike in typhoons and extreme weather to the nation.
The march, attended by more than 2,500 people according to police and expected to build throughout the day, was one of a number of events scheduled in different parts of the country. The Philippines has been identified as one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change.
“Protect our common home,” and “climate justice,” were written on the placards held aloft by people.
“We want to send a message to the rest of the world, especially the world leaders at the climate talks, to say that our survival is not negotiable,” said Denise Fontanilla, spokeswoman for the Asian People’s Movement on Debt and Development.
Under heightened security two weeks after France’s worst terror attack, about 150 heads of state and government on Monday are to launch a UN conference tasked with inking a post-2020, 195-nation climate rescue pact.
In Australia, where Melbourne on Friday was first among the weekend rallies, about 5,000 people gathered in the city of Brisbane for a march led by Aboriginal and Pacific Islander representatives and youth groups.
“We are walking together because we know what it’s like to protect our country,” said Larissa Baldwin, from an indigenous climate youth network.
Pacific islands are particularly at risk from the fallout of climate change, especially rising sea levels.
“These are people that are calling for a just transition to renewable energy,” Baldwin told reporters.
Senator Larissa Waters from the Greens Party said the turnout, after tens of thousands marched in Melbourne, showed the strength of opposition to plans to develop more of Australia’s vast coal deposits.
“They don’t want new coal mines, they don’t want massive land clearing, they actually want the environmental protection and job opportunities that comes from embracing clean energy,” Waters told national television.
Organizers in Paris expected hundreds of thousands to take to the streets in Asian cities, as well as Johannesburg and Edinburgh, with similar events set for today in Seoul, Rio de Janeiro, New York and Mexico City.
In Paris, French authorities canceled two rallies following the onslaught by gunmen and suicide bombers that killed 130 people at restaurant terraces, a concert hall and the national stadium on Nov. 13.
Activists plan to create a 2km human chain along the original march route today. They are to break the chain as they pass the Bataclan theater, where the worst violence claimed 90 lives, as a mark of respect to those killed.
The goal of the Paris talks is to limit average global warming to 2oC over pre-Industrial Revolution levels by curbing fossil-fuel emissions.
About 40,000 people are expected at the Paris conference, including 10,000 delegates from 195 countries, plus journalists, observers, scientists, exhibitors and visitors.
An Australian university student who has never visited China and has only a modest social media following would seem an unlikely target for the Chinese government. However, when a Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman personally denounced Drew Pavlou at a news conference, it was just the next phase in an extraordinary campaign against the 21-year-old that has fueled concerns over China’s targeting of critics overseas. Pavlou first placed himself in the superpower’s sights when in July last year he organized a small sit-in at the University of Queensland, where he studies, to protest against various Chinese government policies. Since then, the Global
‘ASKED TO MOVE OUT’: Indonesian coast guard personnel argued with a Chinese vessel over territorial claims after it entered the country’s exclusive economic zone An Indonesian patrol ship confronted a Chinese coast guard vessel that spent almost three days in waters where Indonesia claims economic rights and that are near the southernmost part of China’s disputed claims to the South China Sea. The Indonesian Maritime Security Agency on Friday night detected Chinese ship 5204 entering Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in what Indonesia calls the North Natuna Sea. The agency sent a patrol ship that closed within 1km of the Chinese coast guard vessel and they communicated to affirm their position and their nation’s claims to the area, Indonesian Maritime Security Agency head Aan Kurnia said. “We
BEFORE WINTER COMES: Snow cuts off roads into Ladakh for four months or more each year, so the crunch is on to get food, tents and high-altitude equipment to Leh From deploying mules to large transport aircraft, the Indian military has activated its entire logistics network to transport supplies to thousands of troops for a harsh winter along a bitterly disputed Himalayan border with China. In the past few months, one of India’s biggest military logistics exercises in years has brought vast quantities of ammunition, equipment, fuel, winter supplies and food into Ladakh, a region bordering Tibet that India administers as a union territory, officials said. The move was triggered by a border standoff with China in the snow deserts of Ladakh that began in May and escalated in June into hand-to-hand
Since her personal telephone number was posted online, Hong Kong democracy advocate and Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions chairperson Carol Ng has received menacing calls from strangers and been bombarded with messages calling her a “cockroach.” She is not alone. A sophisticated and shady Web site called HK Leaks has ramped up its “doxxing” — where people’s personal details are published online — of Hong Kong democracy advocates, targeting those it says have broken Hong Kong’s National Security Law. Promoted by groups linked to the Chinese Chinese Communist Party and hosted on Russia-based servers, HK Leaks has become the most prominent “doxxing”