Protesters fear the consequences of climate change, demand help for the poor

By FRANK JORDANS – Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) — Youth activists staged a coordinated “global climate strike” Friday to highlight their fears about the effects of global warming and demand more aid for poor countries hit by wild weather.

Protesters took to the streets in Jakarta, Tokyo, Rome and Berlin with banners and placards with slogans such as “We are concerned about the climate crisis” and “It is not too late”.

The demonstrations were organized by the youth movement Fridays for Future, which took its cue from activist Greta Thunberg, who started a solo protest outside Sweden’s parliament in 2018.

“We are on strike around the world because responsible governments are still doing too little for climate justice,” said Daria Sotude, spokeswoman for the group’s German office.

“People all over the world are suffering from this crisis, and it will only get worse if we don’t act in time,” she said.

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Thousands of people came to a rally in Berlin, which called on the German government to create a A fund of 100 billion euros to fight climate change.

In Rome, about 5,000 young people took part in a march that ended near the Coliseum.

One poster read: “The climate is changing. Why not us?” Among their priorities, the students highlighted the need to review Italy’s transport policy. The country’s car-per-capita ratio is one of the highest in Europe.

Election campaign in Italywhich ends on Friday night ahead of the parliamentary vote on September 25, climate change policy has not been on the agenda of candidates’ rallies.

The protests followed warnings from scientists that countries were not doing enough to meet the main goal of the 2015 Paris climate accord to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) this century compared to pre-industrial times.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres world leaders said this week that the fossil fuel industry, which is responsible for a large proportion of the gases causing global warming, “is feasting on hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies and windfalls while household budgets are slashed and our planet burns.”

Guterres called on rich countries to tax the profits of energy companies and redirect the funds both to “countries suffering loss and damage caused by the climate crisis” and to countries struggling with the rising cost of living.

Demanding more financial aid for poor countries to deal with global warming, including the damage already done deadly weather events such as floods in Pakistanbecame louder on the eve of this year’s UN climate summit.

Pietro de Cristofaro in Berlin and Francis D’Emilio in Rome contributed to this report.

Follow AP’s climate coverage on https://apnews.com/hub/climate-and-environment

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