Sharm El Sheikh (Egypt), November 13
At the United Nations Climate Summit in Egypt on Saturday, hundreds of environmental activists called on developed countries to bear the impact of global warming. It was the largest demonstration to date, with German officials expressing concern about possible surveillance and intimidation of delegates and other conference attendees.
At the conference known as COP27, which is being held at the seaside resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, the protests were all but quelled. Activists have blamed high travel, lodging and restrictions in quarantined cities to limit the number of demonstrators.
Protesters marched through the conference’s Blue Zone, which is considered UN territory and governed by the rules of the international organization. This gave activists a little more room to voice their opinions than in other areas where the Egyptian dictatorship essentially bans protests.
Still, there were signs that Egypt was trying to exert pressure inside the conference hall. Attendees at an event at the German Pavilion complained of being photographed and videotaped by strangers after Germany hosted an event with the sister of an imprisoned Egyptian pro-democracy activist.
“We hope that all participants in the UN climate change conference will be able to work and negotiate under safe conditions,” the German Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “This applies not only to Germans, but also to civil society and media representatives, but also to all delegations. We are in constant communication with the Egyptian side about this.” did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
During Saturday’s rally, protesters chanted, sang and danced not far from where negotiations were taking place. Past climate negotiations have traditionally seen very large protests at the end of the first week of two-week summits, often in the thousands. This year has been mostly quiet with only sporadic, small-scale demonstrations during his first week.
Friday Mmbani, a Nigerian environmental activist who led a group of protesters in Africa, said, “Pay the price for the loss and damage now. “Payment for loss and damage” or financing to help pay for climate-related damage should be at the center of the negotiations. “Africa is crying and its people are dying,” Mbani said. Told.
Protesters also called for drastic cuts in greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. Emissions continue to rise, but scientists say the amount of heat-trapping gas will need to be nearly halved by 2030 to meet the 2015 Paris Agreement temperature limit goals. I’m here.
Activists chanted, “Keep it in the ground,” in reference to its refusal to continue mining fossil fuels.
On Friday, several activists were dismissed after mocking US President Joe Biden’s speech and holding up an orange banner reading “People vs. Fuel.” As a result, one of his activists, Jacob Johns, had his access to the conference revoked.
Johns, a member of the US Akimerosum and Hopi Tribe, said, “This is a great way to silence the voices of indigenous peoples nationally and globally.
The 39-year-old veteran activist said he attended the speech to protest a new US program to encourage corporate purchases of carbon offsets, a plan for companies to earn pollution credits by helping to remove carbon dioxide. rice field.
And what really angered veteran activists was Biden’s reference to indigenous knowledge and efforts in his speech.
“It was a really good big slap in the face of climate action,” Johns said.
Saturday’s rally also focused on human rights and gender rights, with protesters saying both were linked to climate justice and calling for an end to the crackdown on rights and environmental activists, especially in developing countries. rice field.
Activists called for the release of imprisoned Egyptian pro-democracy activist Alaa Abdel Fattah. His case received international attention during the conference.
“I hope one day my brother will be able to stand here with you and speak up for those who are oppressed, criminalized, marginalized and neglected. Want is a London-based anti-poverty charity. He was reading Seif’s remarks.
Abdel-Fattah’s family said he escalated his hunger strike and stopped drinking water just in time for the meeting to begin. They have since demanded word about his condition in prison, and after authorities told them he was undergoing undefined medical intervention and blocked lawyers from seeing him, they concerns have increased.