BRUSSELS: Young activists rallied for climate action on Friday (Sep 23), staging protests from New Zealand and Japan to Germany and the Democratic Republic of Congo to demand that rich countries pay for the damage that global warming is inflicting upon the poor.
The protests take place six weeks before this year’s UN climate summit, known as COP27, where vulnerable countries plan to push for compensation for climate-related destruction to homes, infrastructure and livelihoods.
Demonstrations were planned in around 450 locations worldwide by youth movement Fridays for Future. They are timed to coincide with global leaders meeting in New York City at the UN General Assembly.
“One day, it could be my house that gets flooded,” said 15-year-old Park Chae-yun, one of around 200 protesting in Seoul, South Korea. “I’m living with a sense of crisis, so I think it is more important to deliver my concerns to the government to take preventive measures rather than going to school.”
A protester who gave their name as Meta had the same worry in Indonesia: “If Jakarta is flooded, everyone who has money can leave. Where do I go? I will drown here in Jakarta.”
Around 400 young activists gathered in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital Kinshasa, chanting slogans such as “Act for Africa, protect our planet” and carrying cardboard signs reading “Climate Justice” and “Climate SOS” while walking on the shoulder of a busy thoroughfare.
Escalating and irreparable damage caused by climate change has heightened developing country demands for “Loss & Damage” compensation to be addressed at COP27 in Egypt in November.