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Home Lao Chinese

South Koreans join global climate protest

SEOUL (Korea Herald/ANN) -- South Koreans, young and old alike, took to the streets to demand immediate action on climate change
Thousands of people took to the streets in central Seoul on Saturday to call for immediate action to tackle climate change, joining millions of protesters around the world in the global movement.
An estimated 4,000 people, according to organisers, gathered in Daehakno in central Seoul to criticize the government for its lukewarm response to climate change and to call for more drastic change in energy policies – such as shutting down coal-fired power plants, shifting to renewable energy and cutting other emissions.

South Korean students hold posters showing protest against climate change.  

“I take individual action, but what is the use when coal-fired plants and steel mills are still in operation and big corporations are producing an unimaginable amount of greenhouse gas emissions?” said Kim Do-hyeon, 15, who co-heads a students’ group campaigning for action on climate change in Korea.
“Adults always tell us to go to a university first. It would be too late by then. We are the ones who have to live in this environment,” she said. “I hope adults stop gambling our future.”
Millions of people from some 185 countries took part in Friday’s global general strike, where students skipped school and workers walked out of their jobs to join the biggest climate protest in history.
Adults, who felt guilty about the burden and responsibility they were passing onto the young generation, also joined the Saturday’s demonstration.
“I came here because I felt that we should do whatever it takes to address the problem,” said Kim Gi-hun, who teaches first graders in middle school. “I feel sorry that I have not done anything to pressure the government and politicians to tackle the problem.”
Led by some 330 environmental civic organizations, labour unions, left-wing political parties and religious groups, protesters chanted “If not now, there is no tomorrow” and “Speak now, and take action right away.”
“Justice, rather than growth, and survival, rather than interests, are our priorities,” they said in a statement. “We should choose whether to sit back and accelerate the disaster or fight against the wrong system.”
Following the rally, they marched some 5 kilometres from Daehangno to Boshingak Bell.
The demonstrations around the globe took place on the eve of a UN climate summit. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for the meeting to inject urgency into government action to limit global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees Celsius under the 2015 Paris treaty.
President Moon Jae-in is set to join the summit.
Korea, the world’s seventh-largest greenhouse gas emitter, still heavily relies on coal-fired power plants and nuclear reactors, which generate about 65 percent of electricity combined as of 2018.

 

 


(Latest UpdateSeptember 24, 2019)


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