Hundreds of angry climate protesters took to the streets of Lisbon on Saturday, with dozens storming a building where Portuguese Economy Minister Antonio Costa e Silva was speaking demanding the resignation of the former oil executive.
Holding banners and chanting slogans, protesters called for climate action. When some demonstrators broke into the building, those outside shouted: “Outside Costa and Silva!
“It is important because we are really experiencing a climate crisis. The situation is serious and urgent.” Climate activist Marta Leandro told Reuters. “What we do or do not do in this decade will have a great impact on climate security, for the future of new and present generations.”
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Police officers dragged some demonstrators out of the building.
Portuguese broadcaster RTP reported that the minister left the building through a back door.
The protest in Portugal took place when world leaders, politicians and delegates from nearly 200 countries gathered at the UN COP27 climate summit in Egypt.
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But some activists don’t believe COP27 will solve the problem.
“I think that favoring large companies and their monetary interests has made people on the planet close their eyes, on people’s lifestyles, on the quality of life of people, on the quality of the planet”. Climate protester Joao Duarte said this. “I think there won’t be any change until governments stop being the best friends and allies of big business. That’s why these events are so important.”
On Tuesday, UN experts said in a report that promises from companies, banks and cities to achieve net zero emissions often amount to little more than a green wash.
“The situation is serious and urgent,” said Marta Leandro, vice president of the Portuguese environmental group Quercus, during the protest in Lisbon. “What we do or don’t do in this decade will have a big impact on climate security.”
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Reuters contributed to this report.