New York Protests Pressure Biden, UN on Fossil Fuels

Climate summit this week will not hear from the US
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 17, 2023 5:05 PM CDT
New York Protests Pressure Biden, UN on Fossil Fuels
Members of the climate protection group Last Generation have sprayed the Brandenburg Gate with orange paint in Berlin, Germany. Police said Sunday arrests had been made.   (Paul Zinken/dpa via AP)

Frustration over inaction on the harm to the planet being done by fossil fuels brought tens of thousands of protesters to the streets of Manhattan on Sunday. The demonstration was held in anticipation of UN meetings this week on addressing global warming, but the message was aimed most directly at President Biden, and it was uncompromising. "Biden, you should be scared of us," 17-year-old Emma Buretta shouted at a rally before the march, the New York Times reports. "If you want our vote, if you don't want the blood of our generations to be on your hands, end fossil fuels."

The city's annual Climate Week coincides with UN sessions, including a first-time summit on global warming to be held on Wednesday, per the AP. Biden is scheduled to give a speech to the UN General Assembly but not to attend the climate summit. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said only members bringing new, credible proposals, such as plans to phase out the use of fossil fuels, are welcome to speak. That leaves the US out, per NPR. Similar demonstrations were held over the weekend in places including Germany, England, Senegal, South Korea, and India, per the Times.

Organizers of the New York protest said they expected more of Biden. "I think the reality now is that Biden hasn't been the climate president that he had promised," said Alice Hu of New York Communities for Change. The White House released a statement arguing that, pointing out that the Inflation Reduction Act allocates hundreds of billions of dollars to incentives for low-carbon technologies, including renewable energy, per NPR. "I want a fossil-free president," one placard in the Manhattan streets read. (More global warming stories.)

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