More than 20K join protests across Asia to end fossil fuels
650 mobilizations against fossil fuels are planned around the world,
expected to draw millions between September 15-17
More than twenty thousand people took to the streets today in 10 Asian countries to demand a rapid, just and equitable end to fossil fuels. The Asian mobilizations kicked off historic climate marches happening around the world this week. Millions are expected to join more than 650 climate marches and actions planned between September 15 to 17 in 60 countries.
On September 17th, the March to End Fossil Fuels will happen in New York to demand that President Biden take bold climate action by rejecting new fossil fuel projects, phasing out fossil fuel production, and declaring a climate emergency.
On September 18, a 10,000-strong climate march will take place in Tokyo organized by trade unions, environmental groups, and anti-nukes campaigners.
“Climate advocates around the world are ramping up efforts to get world leaders to undertake a rapid, equitable and just fossil fuel phase-out to protect people and the planet. We are escalating this fight in the face of the swiftly intensifying climate crisis and consequent impacts while governments continue to have low ambition and in fact are backtracking from their already weak commitments. With so many deceptive excuses, governments are expanding rather than phasing out gas and oil. Unproven unreliable solutions like carbon capture and removal technologies, hydrogen and ammonia co-firing are being promoted to extend the life of coal energy,” said Lidy Nacpil, coordinator of Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD), one of the more than 3800 organizations involved in the mobilizations.
Added Nacpil: “We are not just fighting for the communities living around fossil fuel infrastructures. The health and well-being of humanity and the planet is at stake. We are saying end fossil fuels fast, fair, forever because the fight against the fossil fuel industry needs to have equity and justice at the heart of it or it won’t succeed. We need to rebuild our economies as post-carbon economies by 2050.”
The actions are part of a mass global escalation demanding a rapid end to fossil fuels ahead of the UN Climate Ambition Summit on September 20 in New York. UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called on world leaders to make ambitious commitments to phase out fossil fuels.
Last September 8, the United Nations global stocktake report stated that governments are failing to cut greenhouse gas emissions fast enough to meet the goals of the Paris agreement. According to the report, which tracks countries’ efforts to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, meeting the goals will require “phasing out all unabated fossil fuels” and that there is a “rapidly narrowing window” for governments to move faster. Global greenhouse gas emissions must peak by 2025 at the latest, and be rapidly reduced from there, to limit temperature rises to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels. Emissions are still rising, however, and there is a gap of 20 to 23 gigatonnes of CO2 between the cuts needed by 2030 to limit global temperatures to 1.5C and the world’s current emissions trajectory.
Ian Rivera, coordinator of Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) said the success of a fast and fair fossil fuel phaseout primarily lies with the leaders of developed countries with huge historical responsibility for the climate crisis.
“Wealthy countries must deliver their full fair share of climate actions, including meeting their climate finance obligations so that developing countries, the least responsible but suffering the brunt of the climate crisis, can rapidly shift to efficient, safe, renewable energy,” Rivera said.
“We are participating in the mobilizations to demand an end to the era of fossil fuels that destroyed our land, poisoned our air and water, and exploited and oppressed our people for profit. We cannot continue to expand oil, gas, and coal in Asia. We have to move towards sustainable renewable energy systems that will not only prevent a climate catastrophe, but also ensure the energy access of people and communities,” said Sharif Jamil, coordinator of Waterkeepers Bangladesh.
“We are nowhere near the Paris Agreement’s goal of keeping global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees because emissions are rising, instead of declining fast enough to stave off climate change. We have to end fossil fuels and directly transition to renewable energy. It can be done. But Global North countries, in collusion with the fossil fuel industry lobby are selling us false solutions and dangerous distractions, such as carbon capture, hydrogen and gas as transition fuel, which is contradictory to what science tells is required to maintain a livable planet,” said Farooq Tariq, general secretary of Pakistan Kissan Rabita Committee.
The latest data backs up the International Energy Agency finding that no new fossil fuel extraction can be developed under a 1.5°C warming limit, and shows that over half of existing fields and mines be shut down early while protecting workers and communities.
Lani C. Villanueva
Mobile/WhatsApp +63 9052472970
Mobilizations in Asia
- Bangladesh: Almost 5,000 joined various forms of protest actions, such as boat rallies, rickshaw rallies, biking events, human chain, river cleaning and cultural shows. The actions were held in the sites of fossil fuel powered-plants and in vulnerable coastal communities in Dhaka, Jamalpur, Sherpur, Mymensingh, Netrokona, Habiganj, Sylhet, Pirojpur, Gazipur, Panchagarh, Jointapur, Bishwanath, Bogra,Mongha, Khulna, Barguna,Kuakata, Taltoli, Paikgacha and Tala, Satkhira,Moheshkhali, Patharghata, Cox’s Bazar, Kutubdia,Pekua and Barisal.
- Pakistan: More than 3,000 joined the Pakistan Climate March organized by Pakistan Kissan Rabita, Hari Jedojehad Committee (Peasant’s Struggle Committee), Labor Education Foundation, Railway Workers Union, Tameer e Nau Women Workers Union and Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF). The march was held in the southern province of Sindh and highlighted the losses and damages from last year’s catastrophic flooding. A quarter of Sindh’s population of about 50 million were affected by the floods and parts of Sindh remain under water to this day. Another 1,000-strong mobilization was held in Karachi organized by PFF, Indus Consortium, Policy Research Institute for Equitable Development (PRIED), Railway Workers Union, Haqooq e Khalq Party and Pakistan Bhatta Mazdoor Union.
- Nepal: More than 4,000 joined rallies held in key cities in Nepal: Kathmandu, Biratnagar, Gauradha, Chitwan, Hetauda, Pokhara, Ghorahi, Bhirahawa and Dhangadhi.
- India: More than 3,000 joined rallies held in Udaipur, Hyderabad, Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Bhubaneswar, Mirzapur, Kolkata, Delhi, Itanagar and Mumbai led by the National Hawker Federation (NHF).
- Philippines: About 3,000 joined the rally held in Manila organized by Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), Sanlakas, and Oriang Women’s Movement.
- Indonesia: Mobilizations were held in LNG and coal power plant sites in Jakarta, Jambi, West Java and West Papua organized by WALHI (Indonesian Forum for Environment).
- South Korea: More than 300 joined a rally held in Samcheok where Korea’s last coal plant is being built. The march is organized by Youth 4 Climate Action and Solutions for Our Climate.
- Small mobilizations were also held in Thailand, Kuala Lumpur, in front of the Malaysian Parliament, and Colombo City, Sri Lanka.
- Vietnam: More than 700 joined a walkathon held on September 12 held in Hanoi.
- Japan: Some 10,000 people are expected to join a climate march on September 18 organized by trade unions, Friends of the Earth Japan, Fossil Fuel Free Japan and anti-nukes advocacy groups.