Rallies in Sydney, Melbourne protest Australia’s climate policy
By James Redmayne and Lidia Kelly
SYDNEY / MELBOURNE (Reuters) – More than 1,000 people demonstrated in Australia’s largest cities of Sydney and Melbourne on Saturday to protest the government’s climate policies and the strategies it proposed at a United Nations summit on the climate in Glasgow.
Sydney’s first legal protest after a months-long COVID-19 lockdown saw around 1,000 people marching in support of the Global Day of Climate Justice Action, a global movement mobilized at the COP26 meeting.
“We’re all here to show we want more from our government,” said Georgia, one of the protesters.
The protesters carried signs reading “We need human change, not climate change” and “Code Red for Humanity”, in images released by the media.
A week of speeches and government commitments at the two-week meeting in Glasgow made promises of phasing out coal, reducing emissions of the powerful greenhouse gas methane and reducing deforestation.
Australia, however, rejected the global methane pledge and activists and pressure groups were unimpressed with pledges from other world leaders.
“The COP 26 deals were underway and it is not going the best for Australia at the moment,” added Georgia, the protester from Sydney, who gave only one name.
The Melbourne protest was smaller than the Sydney one, with just a few hundred people marching to a rally featuring a giant koala emitting plumes of smoke and protesters disguised as skeletons on bikes.
Several smaller events took place elsewhere in Australia.
Young Swedish activist Greta Thunberg was among thousands of young activists who marched through Glasgow on Friday, demanding urgent action.
(Reporting by Lidia Kelly; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)