Extinction Rebellion climate protesters shut down a major intersection in the Melbourne CBD during peak hour on Thursday.
Up to 100 protesters took part in the protest and were met with a strong police presence, Nine News reports.
They group took over the intersection of Latrobe Street and Queen Street at around 8am, blocking traffic for 20 minutes, before moving down Latrobe Street.
The activist group said the “colourful and dramatic protest” would be the first of three days it planned to create disruptions in the heart of the city, after blocking a major freeway exit during peak hour on Tuesday.
At least 102 climate activists from seventeen countries representing Greenpeace, Stay Grounded, Extinction Rebellion, Scientist Rebellion and other climate justice groups are still being detained in Geneva, Switzerland 20 hours after a peaceful protest against Europe’s largest annual private jet fair, the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva.
“A unique, European coalition of courageous activists from 17 countries severely disrupted the excessive champagne party of a super-rich elite – Europe’s largest private jet sales event. Their demand is unequivocal, private aviation should be consigned to the history books. We support the activists and demand their immediate release.” – said Klara Maria Schenk, a transport expert for the European Mobility For All campaign.
Contrary to several misleading media reports, the activists never entered the taxiways or runways of the airport. The activists make it clear that at no time they intended to disrupt commercial air traffic at Geneva Airport. A spokeswoman for air traffic control agency Skyguide confirmed protestors had not accessed the runway during the incident, according to Aviation International News.
Two billion people, including many Australians, will find themselves living in dangerously hot places this century if global warming reaches 2.7℃, research released today reveals.
The authors calculated how many people would be left outside the “human climate niche” by 2100. The niche is defined as places with an average temperature of about 13℃, or about 27℃ in the tropics. Human population has historically peaked in these areas.
The world is on track for 2.7℃ of warming by 2100. This would push a third of people on Earth outside the human climate niche. This includes people in parts of northwest Australia such as Darwin, Broome and Port Hedland. It also includes parts of Southeast Asia, India, Africa and South America.
Limiting warming to 1.5℃ would substantially reduce the number of people exposed, including most of those affected in northwest Australia.
We were not involved in the research, which was conducted by researchers in the United Kingdom, China, Europe and United States. We are Australian experts in the health implications of global warming. Below, we discuss the broader implications of these globally significant findings.
What is the human cost of global warming?
The research calculated the number of people outside the “human climate niche” under different demographic scenarios and levels of warming. Exposure to unprecedented heat was the main factor pushing people out of the niche.
This includes an average temperature greater than or equal to 29℃, as well as a high number of days with a maximum temperature above 40℃ or in humid places, with a wet-bulb temperature greater than 28℃. The wet-bulb temperature (as opposed to the standard dry-bulb temperature) reflects humidity and is a method used to measure heat stress. That’s because it’s the point at which sweating is no longer effective as a means of cooling.
The study says a wet-bulb temperature of 35 ℃ can be fatal, especially for vulnerable people, because the body can no longer cool itself.
Above the present level of about 1.2 ℃ global warming, the authors found exposure to unprecedented average temperatures increased markedly, along with increased exposure to temperature extremes.
But 2.7 ℃ of warming threatens a third of the world’s population. The below map shows where in the world people will suffer the worst heat. Almost the entire area of some countries, such as Burkina Faso and Mali in West Africa, would be exposed to unprecedented heat.
Why is warming a health hazard?
Just last week, the World Meteorological Organization predicted global surface temperatures would rise to record levels within the next five years. The temperature is also likely to temporarily climb 1.5℃ above pre-industrial levels.
This spells trouble for human health. Even incremental warming increases exposure to health hazards including potentially deadly heatwaves, infectious diseases and diet-related health issues.
Let’s be clear. A 1.5℃ world will result in injury and death, particularly for people in Asia and Africa. Importantly, the people most at risk will be the least capable of protecting themselves: children, the elderly and those with existing health conditions.
While populations closer to the equator are more likely to experience heat-related harm, Australians are by no means immune.
For example, a 2019 study found heat-related health issues in Australia have been grossly underestimated. It found more than 36,000 deaths between 2006 and 2017 were attributable to heat.
And experts predict Darwin could experience an average 265 days a year above 35℃ in a 3℃ warmer world.
Historically health has rarely been included in these economic assessments, much less ethical considerations. Emissions reduction policies need to consider health and equity issues, and in doing so can provide governments with a strategic rationale to act.
Pursuing adaptation measures in an effort to reduce the harmful effects of existing climate change is vital, but to protect the health of all, it is critical that we pursue strong emissions reduction measures.
Developing healthier climate policies
Australian climate action targets have improved under the Albanese government, however they remain incompatible with keeping warming to 1.5℃.
A commitment to develop and implement a National Health and Climate Strategy and establish a National Sustainability and Climate Unit are promising initiatives. This will help to address our woeful performance in a recent assessment showing how national climate commitments don’t link with health.
Last week, the Victorian Government committed to reducing emissions by 75-80% compared with 2005 levels by 2035. Their analysis indicates it will lead to A$5.7 billion in health benefits from improved air quality between 2035 and 2045.
As today’s new research states, the findings highlight the need for “more decisive policy action to limit the human costs and inequities of climate change”. Australia, in particular, must protect children, the elderly and the broader population from the harms they face in a warmer world.
It’s likely that there will be a diminished service over the next few months because I’m hoping to travel to remote locations with poor connectivity ;) I think that I largely repeat myself and that you’ve probably got the message anyway – assert yourselves, protest, Tories are scum, Starmer’s lot are Tories, Just Stop Oil, it’s the rich that are destroying our beautiful World, etc.
Standing in a sunny Parliament Square surrounded by a colourful mix of trade union flags, Mick Lynch spoke to LFF about the troubling state of democracy in Britain.
The RMT general secretary was a speaker at the emergency protest organised ahead of the final Parliament vote on the anti-strike legislation, Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill.
For Lynch, the anti-strike legislation comes under a broader attempt by the Tory government to clamp down on any kind of opposition, warning that a threat to trade union power is a threat to democracy.
“The government has got an attitude towards anything they don’t agree with, any kind of dissent. It could be politically or more broadly socially, where if they don’t agree with people, they try to ban them,” said Lynch.
“We got these police bills and these counter-demonstration bills where people will be stopped from demonstrating or protesting.
“We saw that during the coronation, one of the most passive pieces of civil disobedience if you like, was banned in effect and people were put in jail for the day.
“They’re trying to clamp down on any dissent, and I think that’s a very troubling state, and it’s time for the British people to wake up to that and see that if trade unions, which are an organic part of life and grow in every society, if they’re not allowed to function properly, democracy in this country is in a lot of trouble.
“We’ve got to make sure that people are out opposing that and we’ve got to make sure that people understand the issues.
Protesters from Greenpeace, Stay Grounded, Extinction Rebellion and others chain themselves to aircraft in Geneva
Dozens of climate activists have disrupted Europe’s largest private jet trade fair by chaining themselves to aircraft to protest against the sector’s carbon emissions.
The demonstrators on behalf of Greenpeace, Stay Grounded, Extinction Rebellion and Scientist Rebellion also attached themselves to the entrance gates of the event at Geneva airport in the hope of preventing prospective buyers from entering the annual show.
The activists, who were calling for a global ban on the use of private jets because of their carbon footprint, stuck tobacco-style health warning labels on some of the jets at the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE) saying private jets “burn our future”, “kill our planet”, and “fuel inequality”.
… In a tense moment during the meeting, which had already been delayed for nearly an hour, security stepped in to prevent a protester from reaching chairman Sir Andrew Mackenzie and other board members on the stage.
Dozens of protesters were escorted out by members of the security team at London’s Excel conference centre.
“Obviously that last incident went a stage further than we experienced in the first part of today,” Mackenzie said, after protesters had been escorted out.
Early in the meeting, a group of protesters sang, “Go to hell Shell and don’t you come back no more, no more, no more, no more,” to the tune of the Ray Charles song Hit the Road Jack.
The first protester to get up shouted: “Welcome to Shell… complicit in the destruction of people’s homes, livelihoods and lives. Welcome to hell.”
“Energy security can only be achieved by rapidly and equitably phasing out fossil fuels and transitioning to renewable energy, not locking in deadly fossil fuels and lining the pockets of oil and gas executives,” said one critic.
Since Group of Seven leaders on Saturday put out a wide-ranging communiqué from a Japan-hosted summit in Hiroshima, climate action advocates from G7 countries and beyond have blasted the statement’s support for future investments in planet-heating gas.
The statement comes after G7 climate, energy, and environment ministers were criticized for their communiqué from a meeting in Sapporo last month as well as protests around the world this week pressuring the summit’s attendees to ditch fossil fuels and “deliver a clear and just renewable energy agenda for a peaceful world.”
To meet the 1.5°C goal of the Paris climate agreement, the new statement commits to “accelerate the phaseout of unabated fossil fuels so as to achieve net-zero in energy systems by 2050 at the latest” along with “the elimination of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies by 2025 or sooner.”
“The G7 must stop using fossil fuels immediately—the planet is on fire.”
The statement also highlights that last year, G7 nations—Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States—pledged to end “new direct public support for the international unabated fossil fuel energy sector, except in limited circumstances,” though as recent analysis shows, some are breaking that promise.
The communiqué then endorses liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a solution to “the global impact of Russia’s war on energy supplies, gas prices and inflation, and people’s lives,” referencing the invasion of Ukraine:
In this context, we stress the important role that increased deliveries of LNG can play, and acknowledge that investment in the sector can be appropriate in response to the current crisis and to address potential gas market shortfalls provoked by the crisis. In the exceptional circumstance of accelerating the phaseout of our dependency on Russian energy, publicly supported investment in the gas sector can be appropriate as a temporary response, subject to clearly defined national circumstances, if implemented in a manner consistent with our climate objectives without creating lock-in effects, for example by ensuring that projects are integrated into national strategies for the development of low-carbon and renewable hydrogen.
“The G7 energy outcome correctly diagnoses a short-term need for energy security, then promotes a dangerous and inappropriate lock-in of fossil gas that would do nothing to address this need,” responded Collin Rees, United States program manager at Oil Change International (OCI). “Energy security can only be achieved by rapidly and equitably phasing out fossil fuels and transitioning to renewable energy, not locking in deadly fossil fuels and lining the pockets of oil and gas executives.”
After accusing the summit’s attendees of “using the war as an excuse,” deflecting blame for current conditions, and neglecting Global South countries disproportionately suffering from the climate crisis, Max Lawson, head of inequality policy at Oxfam, declared that “the G7 must stop using fossil fuels immediately—the planet is on fire.”
Greenpeace International global climate politics expert Tracy Carty also demanded a swift end to fossil fuels, charging that “G7 leaders’ endorsement of new fossil gas is a blunt denial of the climate emergency” which dooms “current and future generations.”
Gerry Arances, executive director of the Philippine Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development, similarly argued that “the endorsement of increased LNG deliveries and investment in gas in the G7 communiqué is no mere backsliding—it is a death sentence being dealt by the G7 to the 1.5°C limit and, in consequence, to the climate survival of vulnerable peoples in the Philippines, Southeast Asia, and across the world.”
“Unless they genuinely put forward the phaseout of all fossil fuels, Japan and all G7 nations spout nothing but lies when they say they have aligned to 1.5°C,” he continued. “They cannot claim to be promoting development while subjecting our people to decades more of pollution and soaring energy prices. We reject this notion of a development powered by fossil fuels.”
Looking to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) planned for later this year, Arances added that “Japan and G7 leaders should already be warned that civic movements will not tire in pushing back against fossil fuels and false solutions and in demanding a renewable energy transition.”
“Civic movements will not tire in pushing back against fossil fuels and false solutions and in demanding a renewable energy transition.”
Other campaigners also specifically called out the Hiroshima summit’s host—including Ayumi Fukakusa, deputy executive director at Friends of the Earth Japan, who asserted that the country “has used the G7 presidency to derail the global energy transition.”
“Japan has been driving the push to increase gas investments and has been promoting its so-called ‘green transformation’ strategy,” Fukakusa said of a “greenwashing scheme” featuring hydrogen, ammonia, nuclear, and carbon capture and storage technologies.
OCI Asia program manager Susanne Wong agreed that given the nation’s promotion of gas expansion and technologies to prolong the use of coal, “this year’s G7 is revealing Japan’s failure of climate leadership at a global level.”
“Activists mobilized 50 actions across 22 countries this week to demand that Japan end its fossil fuel finance and stop driving the expansion of gas and other fossil-based technologies,” Wong added. “Japan will continue to face intense international scrutiny until it stops fueling the climate crisis.”
Groups from other G7 countries also called out their political leaders. Petter Lydén, head of international climate policy at Germanwatch, said, “Most likely, the German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, has been a driving force behind the weak language on gas, which is a serious blow to Germany’s international credibility on climate.”
Citing sources familiar with summit negotiations, The New York Timesreported Saturday that “Britain and France fought the German effort” while U.S. President Joe Biden was caught between defending his climate agenda and “aiding other United States allies intent on increasing their access to fossil fuels.”
OCI’s Rees said the that “this betrayal continues a disturbing turn by President Biden and Chancellor Scholz from rhetorically committing to climate leadership to openly boosting fossil fuel expansion. History will not look kindly on world leaders who accelerate the pace of fossil fuel buildout in the face of worsening climate crisis.”