Activists will join for massive march through the weather in Madrid
MADRID: Thousands of activists from all over the world will simultaneously take to the streets of Madrid and on Friday to demand urgent action on the climate crisis of the world leaders attending the COP25 summit.
The main march will take place in Madrid on the sidelines of the UN climate conference, with a simultaneous rally in the Chilean capital, which had been due to host the 12-day gathering but was forced to pull out due to deadly anti-government protests .
Eco-warrior teenager Greta Thunberg, who refuses to fly due to the carbon emissions involved, was also expected to join the rally after taking a catamaran trip across the Atlantic for almost three weeks.
She made a appearance at the climate conference after she arrived in Madrid on Friday morning following a 10-hour overnight train trip from Lisbon , joining dozens of other young people participating in a sitting.
Power to the people! Because people have the power! They sang.
Thunberg, which has more than six million followers on Twitter and Instagram, is scheduled to give a press conference later on Friday.
The COP25 summit was inaugurated on Monday with a severe UN warning about the totally inadequate efforts of the world's major economies to curb carbon pollution, and protesters must deliver their own message when the march begins at 1700 GMT .
Under the slogan The world has woken up to the climate emergency, tens of thousands of activists are expected to join the five-kilometer (three-mile) march from Madrid 's Atocha train station which will feature a significant number of Chilean groups .
Thunberg, who has become famous for encouraging a generation of young people to fight for the environment, was heading to Chile when the place was changed, forcing her to return to Europe.
The Oscar-winning Spanish actor Javier Bardem, a vocal environmental activist, will also be at the protest, which will present speeches, music and cultural performances.
The Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, said on the eve of the demonstration that he supported the protests of young people over the government's inaction to the climate crisis.
Caring for our planet is a matter of taking care of our own house, he added in a tweet.
We know that it will be massive, we expect that there will be hundreds of thousands of people in the street demanding urgent measures, the march spokesman Pablo Chamorro told reporters.
2019 has undoubtedly been the year that people have woken up about the weather.
Friday's march will be an important global moment, said Estefanía González, spokesman for the Civil Society for Climate Action (SCAC) that represents more than 150 Chilean and international groups.
I come from Chile, a country where an avocado tree has more right to water than a person, he told reporters.
The furious protests that hit Chile over social and economic inequality were directly related to the environmental crisis, he said about the most severe wave of disturbances since Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship ended almost 30 years ago.
Today, climate action means social equality, it is not possible to have social equality without environmental equality, he said.
SCAC has been the driving force behind a week-long Social Summit for Climate Action, which begins on Saturday and runs parallel to COP25, involving hundreds of events, conferences and workshops.
Indigenous groups will also have a visible presence, with Juan Antonio Correa of the Minga Indigena collective saying that their lands and villages were the first to be affected by climate change.
Our traditional and historical practices and the relationship that indigenous peoples have with Mother Earth is an alternative and a way in which modern society can face the climate crisis, he said.
In their manifesto, the groups involved in the march send a clear message to the decision makers of the almost 200 countries that attend the UN summit.
We demand that governments participating in COP25 recognize the current climate inaction and declare that insufficient ambition of their agreements will lead the planet to disaster global warming scenario, they wrote.
When addressing the nations that signed 2015, they said it was irresponsible that just one year before the treaty came into operation, there was still no emission reduction plan that is compatible with scientific estimates.