Thousands March Through The Streets To Protest ‘Climate Crisis’

Jason Hopkins | Energy Investigator

Thousands of environmental activists participated in marches around the world Saturday, calling on their governments to end fossil fuel production and embrace renewable energy.

Dubbed the “Rise for Climate” movement, thousands of environmentalists took to the streets to demand an end to the fossil fuel industry, claiming it is fueling a “climate crisis.” Around 820 demonstrations took place in 91 different counties, according to the Rise for Climate website. Led in large part by 350.0rg, the worldwide marches were orchestrated by other environmental groups, including the World Wildlife Fund, Climate Action Network and GreenFaith.

Protest organizers are demanding a “swift” and “just” transition to 100 percent renewable energy, which would include solar and wind technology.

“Climate change is the defining issue of our time, it is a crisis of democracy, justice and human rights,” May Boeve, the executive director of 350.org, said in a prepared statement. “The climate movement is made stronger by its sister movements: for human rights, economic justice, democracy, and much more. This weekend Rise for Climate will demonstrate the growing strength and diversity of the climate movement.”

Demonstrations took place in San Francisco; Paris; Sydney; Bogota, Colombia and numerous other cities around the world.

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The vast majority of the marches appear to be peaceful in nature, however, some protesters are reportedly participating in illegal activity. Activists in the United Kingdom locked themselves onto equipment in an attempt to halt mining work, according to the Independent.

It’s not immediately clear how quickly the activists want a transition to 100 percent renewable energy. Most solar and wind power advocates acknowledge such a transition would take decades to complete. In the United States, the only state to have passed a 100 percent clean energy mandate is Hawaii, but that target isn’t until 2045. The California legislature passed a similar bill that awaits approval by the governor, but that bill’s deadline, too, isn’t until 2045 and it encompasses other zero-carbon sources such as nuclear and hydropower. (RELATED: California Assembly Passes Carbon-Free Energy Bill)

The rally in San Francisco came just a few days before the city and Democratic California Gov. Jerry Brown host the Global Climate Action Summit. That event — spearheaded in part by the United Nations — will begin Wednesday and end Friday.

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