World Marching climate activists urge G7 to step up
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Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and three members of Congress will attend a first-of-its-kind conservative climate rally in the Southwest entrepreneurial hub this weekend. Florida Republican Reps. Carlos Curbelo, Maria Salazar and Carlos Giménez will join the Republican mayor for the "American Conservative Climate Rally" hosted by The American Conservation Coalition, a nonprofit aiming to "mobilize" young conservatives around environmental issues, in Miami on June 5.
Thousands of environmental campaigners rallied noisily and colourfully Saturday in Cornwall to urge G7 leaders to do far more against climate change and biodiversity loss.
Beating drums and holding placards, up to 2,000 activists from the Extinction Rebellion (XR) pressure group staged a procession through Falmouth -- an hour's drive from the Carbis Bay summit site.
The harbour town in southwest England is being used to host a media centre for reporters from around the world covering the first in-person gathering of the elite group since 2019.
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Turnout for the vigil was down, though some protesters defied orders.Victoria Park, in northern Hong Kong, usually draws thousands of people waving candles to memorialize the still-unknown number of people who died during the Chinese government’s crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square in 1989. But this year, Hongkongers who dared to show up in person were met with signs from police warning of their possible prosecution, and Victoria Park was barricaded shut.
Heightened security stretching around the seaside resort at Carbis Bay, including extensive police checkpoints and Royal Navy vessels offshore, has kept protesters largely out of the world leaders' view.
"I have a grandchild who's one, and I want some life for him when he grows up not affected by climate change and pollution," retiree David Oliver, 62, told AFP as he joined the Falmouth protesters.
Oliver had travelled from northwest England, linking up with family members from other parts of the country to descend on Falmouth.
He said G7 leaders appeared unwilling to make the "radical" sacrifices need to avert catastrophic climate change.
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Tongass National Forest is a frequent target for political ping-pong between environmental and development interests.In 2001, President Bill Clinton finalized the “roadless rule,” which prohibited road construction on 60 million acres of forested land across the US and heavily restricted commercial logging and mining. But in October of 2020, then-President Donald Trump reversed these protections when he made the Tongass Forest exempt from the rule, doing what many developers and politicians in Alaska had been calling for since the Clinton era. But this reversal didn’t last for long.
Dozens of demonstrators dressed entirely in red -- representing the accelerating rate of species' extinctions -- led the procession through Falmouth behind a banner reading: "G is for greenwashing."
Video: 'Drowning in promises': Extinction Rebellion stage protest in Cornwall urging for G7 action on climate change (AFP)
Others held placards bearing various slogans, including "deeds not words".
- 'Desperately needed moves' -
Falmouth resident Sas Joyce, 42, joined with her nine-year-old son -- who held aloft a sign saying "the sea dies, we die" -- and daughter, aged six.
"We just can't make our voices heard," she complained of perceived continued global inaction on the environment.
The G7 was due to discuss action on climate change and safeguarding global biodiversity on Sunday, laying the groundwork for the UN's pivotal COP26 environmental summit in Scotland in November.
How significant are G7's climate pledges?
G7 leaders make new pledges to combat climate change, but campaigners say they lack detail.This summit made some progress, especially on heralding the demise of coal - the fuel that drove the industrial revolution and sent emissions soaring.
The leaders are expected to debate a pledge to protect at least 30 percent of the world's land and oceans by 2030.
On Friday they met business leaders to discuss ramping up sustainability efforts, at a reception hosted by Queen Elizabeth II and her son Prince Charles at Cornwall's Eden Project, a renowned attraction showcasing the world's ecological riches.
Despite a raft of recent climate pledges by G7 and other countries, campaigners want more detailed plans to be implemented quicker alongside greater aid for poorer nations.
Activists from UK-based anti-poverty organisation Oxfam posed Saturday as the G7 leaders, wearing papier mache heads and relaxing on deckchairs on a beach in Falmouth to make their point.
"We need to put pressure on the G7 here in Cornwall to do far more to cut their carbon but also to deliver the desperately needed moves to help poor countries in Africa and the rest of the world, who are having to fight climate change right now," said Oxfam's Max Lawson.
Ex-Nats leader Mark Vaile tap-dances to the beat of different climate change drums .
On one side of the fence the former deputy PM is chairman of Whitehaven Coal. On the other he professes a commitment to wind and solar technology. It must be exhausting.Some high-profile philanthropists said they would no longer donate to the institution, placing a full-page ad in The Newcastle Herald today saying they “would not support a university who would choose as their leader someone who is determined to build new coalmines when most of the world is determined to reduce fossil fuel use”.