CAIRNS, Australia (AFP) – Australians rallied for climate action Sunday, from protesters chanting “Green energy” outside G20 talks to forming a human chain message in Sydney as part of an international day of action.
The protests are part of a global call to arms to fight climate change ahead of a United Nations summit in New York on Tuesday, which Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott will miss to attend parliament in Canberra. “The message that we wanted to send clearly is that we are really disappointed our prime minister is not showing up to the emergency climate change meeting,” said Sydney protester Ella Weisbrot.
By skipping the high-powered talks Abbott was choosing to “back the dying fossil fuel industry over our future”, the Australian Youth Climate Coalition spokeswoman told AFP.
Hundreds attended the protest in an inner-city park in which they stood in a formation which spelled out “Beyond coal and gas”, Weisbrot said.
In the northern city of Cairns, more than 100 people wearing green paper hearts around their necks gathered in a colourful demonstration amid tight security outside the G20 finance ministers talks. They repeatedly chanted “Every dollar spent, every single cent, 100 per cent, green energy” and carried banners including one that read, “Add climate change to the G20.”