Climate protesters demand world leaders to get rid of fossil fuels causing global warming 

The 78th United Nations General Assembly will begin in New York on Monday and discuss climate change and sustainable development goals (SDG). However, UNGA 2023 seems to be marred by climate protesters taking to the streets in more than 50 countries from Friday to Sunday. They are demanding governments to progressively get rid of fossil fuels causing global warming. 

In a year fraught by mounting deaths and economic destruction from record-breaking floods, wildfires and drought, climate protesters have arranged more than 500 gatherings in 54 nations – from Pakistan and Nigeria to the U.S. 

The organisers expect that worldwide turnout throughout the end of the week should add up to more than a million people. It could make the weekend’s activity the biggest international climate protest since before the Coronavirus pandemic, when the “school strike” movement headed by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg saw millions of people join marches. 

“This is directed at world leaders,” said Mitzi Jonelle Tan, a climate activist with youth movement Fridays for Future in Manila, the Philippines. “The fossil fuel industry’s time is up. We need a just transition, and we need to phase out the fossil fuels causing the destruction of our environment,” she said speaking to Reuters

Organisers of the protest said they would approach governments to quickly end subsidies for oil and gas and to drop any plans for expanding production. According to IMF, governments spent a record-high $7trillion in endowments to oil, gas and coal last year.  

“We’re taking to the streets to demand that African leaders phase out on fossil fuels and focus on investing in community-led renewable energy, to meet the energy demand for the 600 million Africans who do not have access to electricity,” said Eric Njuguna, a climate activist based in Nairobi, Kenya. 

The demonstrations are taking place two months before this year’s U.N. COP28 climate summit, where more than 80 nations intend to push for worldwide consensus to progressively get rid of coal, oil and gas steadily. 

The burning of fossil fuels is the primary driver of climate change, however nations have never concurred in U.N. climate talks to phase out fossil fuels – however they have resolved to phase out use of coal. 

Governments dependent on oil and gas revenues, and those intending to use fossil fuel-based energy to work on poor communities’ living standards, are supposed to push back on the proposition. 

Affluent countries will likewise confront pressure to propose undeniably more financing to assist developing nations to invest in low-carbon energy. 

Renewable energy is less expensive than fossil fuels regarding its running expenses, but communities need backing to make investments to quickly construct wind farms and introduce solar panels. 

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, despite having copious amounts of solar energy assets, Africa got just 2 percent of worldwide investments in renewable energy throughout the last 20 years. 

Around 15,000 people were supposed to join a march in New York on Sunday, as world leaders assemble for the UNGA as well as a “Climate Ambition Summit” on Wednesday. U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres is likely to request that governments reinforce their plans for cutting planet-warming emissions. 

A U.N. report last week cautioned that the world was on a risky track toward severe global warming, and said more action was required on all fronts, including cutting down on coal-fuelled power use by 2030. 

The report likewise encouraged a gigantic financial investment in developing nations for both clean energy and measures to adjust to increasing heat, storms and other outcomes of the warming climate, the U.N. said.  

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