Tens of thousands march to kick off climate summit, demanding end to warming-causing fossil fuels
- New York 09/17/2023 (AP)

 Yelling that the future and their lives depend on ending fossil fuels, tens of thousands of protesters on Sunday kicked off a week where leaders will try once again to curb climate changeprimarily caused by coal, oil and natural gas.

But protesters say it’s not going to be enough. And they aimed their wrath directly at U.S. President Joe Biden, urging him to stop approving new oil and gas projects, phase out current ones and declare a climate emergency with larger executive powers.

“We hold the power of the people, the power you need to win this election,” 17-year-old Emma Buretta of Brooklyn and the youth protest group Fridays for Future said. “If you want to win in 2024, if you do not want the blood of my generation to be on your hands, end fossil fuels.”

The March to End Fossil Fuels featured such politicians as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and actors Susan Sarandon, Ethan Hawke, Edward Norton, Kyra Sedgewick and Kevin Bacon. But the real action on Broadway was where protesters crowded the street, pleading for a better but not-so-hot future. It served as the opening salvo to New York’s Climate Week, where world leaders in business, politics and the arts get together to try to save the planet, highlighted by a new special United Nations summit Wednesday.

But many of the leaders of the countries that cause the most heat-trapping carbon pollution will not be attending the United Nations gathering or hear the protesters’ plea. And they won’t speak at the summit organized by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in a way that only countries that promise new concrete action are invited to speak.

Organizers estimated 75,000 people took part in Sunday’s march.

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Climate Activists Block Traffic on Park Ave. during March Protesting Energy Policies, September 17, 2023 Photo: Bryan Woolston, AP Freelancer