Environmentalists and climate activists from around the world, staged a massive rally in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates ((UAE) calling for a ceasefire in the Israeli-Hamas war.
A statement made available to journalists by the Media and Communication Officer of the Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA), Robert Egbe, disclosed that the civil action and protest, was held on Day 9 of the ongoing United Nations Conference on Climate Change (UNFCCC), otherwise known as COP28.
The protesters, who carried placards with inscriptions such as Cease Fire Now; Stop Ecocide; Stop Funding Fossils, Don’t Gas Africa; Reparations for Loss of Livelihoods; Compel Debt Climate Justice and Creation Not for Sale, demanded that Israel and Hamas stop the war following the high number of civilian casualties including women, children, medical personnel, United Nations staff, members of civil society organisations and journalists, among others.
The fighting started on October 7, 2023 when Hamas attacked Southern Israel, prompting reprisals as Israel relentlessly pounded the Gaza Strip with airstrikes that have wrought unprecedented destruction and decimating entire neighborhoods.
Since the war, thousands have also been killed and millions displaced with the Palestinians bearing most of the brunt of the crisis.
The protest broke out after members of the Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice held a press conference on developments in the first week of the climate talks and debunk myths on rich countries’ posturing as leaders of climate action, while reverting to old tactics of setting up developing countries to take the blame for failure of action at COP28.
The press conference, with the theme: Fossil Fuel Hypocrisy: Who is Really Busting 1.5C at COP28, was anchored by Associate Director of CAPPA, Aderonke Ige, Brandon Wu of ActionAid USA, Alex Rafalowicz of Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty and Moderated by Lidy Nacpil of Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development.
In a statement, the organizers, among other issues, lamented that 2023 is set to be the hottest year on record, yet in the air conditioned halls of the world’s largest climate conference (COP28) that seems to matter less and less to the rich countries.
“As the second week of crucial climate talks continue, will the United States (US) climate negotiators ease or escalate their efforts to keep blocking progress and poison trust further in the UNFCCC process?” they asked.
The statement further pointed out that IPCC data shows that North America’s 4 percent of global population is responsible for 23 percent of historic emissions from 1850, with the US still planning to expand fossil fuel production by far more than all the other countries combined.
“US State Department officials are leading efforts among EU, UK and other countries, which got wealthy by burning fossil fuels to continue running away from their responsibilities for causing today’s climate crisis.
“While 2015’s COP21 in Paris became known as the “Great Escape” for the world’s richest polluting countries and their corporations for avoiding any binding restraints on the deadly emissions driving climate change, Dubai is becoming the staging ground sequel to Paris: The Great Escape II,” the statement added.