Hundreds of angry climate protesters took to the streets of Lisbon on Saturday, with dozens storming a building where Portugal’s Economy Minister Antonio Costa e Silva was speaking demanding the resignation of the former oil executive.
Holding banners and chanting slogans, the protesters demanded climate action. When some protesters stormed the building, those outside shouted: “Get out Costa e Silva!
“It is important because we are in fact experiencing a climate crisis. The situation is serious and urgent.” climate activist Marta Leandro told Reuters. “What we do or don’t do in this decade will have a great impact for climate security, for the future of the new and current generations.”
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Police officers dragged some protesters out of the building.
Portuguese broadcaster RTP reported that the minister left the building through a back door.
The protest in Portugal took place as world leaders, lawmakers and delegates from nearly 200 countries gathered at the COP27 UN climate summit in Egypt.
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But some activists do not believe that COP27 will solve the problem.
“I think that favoring big business and its monetary interests has made people close their eyes to the planet, to the lifestyle of the people, to the quality of life of the people, to the quality of the planet.” said climate protester Joao Duarte. “I think there will be no change until governments stop being the best friends and allies of big business. That’s why these events are so important.”
UN experts said in a report on Tuesday that pledges by companies, banks and cities to achieve net-zero emissions often amount to little more than greenwashing.
“The situation is serious and urgent,” Marta Leandro, vice president of the Portuguese environmental group Quercus, said at the protest in Lisbon. “What we do or don’t do in this decade will have a huge impact on climate security.”
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Reuters contributed to this report.