Activists across the world unite to end the age of coal

• July 1, 2013
age of coal - istanbul action

In Istanbul, youth activists attending Global Power Shift joined local groups to march the streets calling for an end to the age of coal. Courtesy of: Greenpeace International

Activists from across the world came together on Saturday (29 June) to be part of a global movement calling for an end to the age of coal and standing together for a clean energy future.

From the US to the Philippines, Australia to Turkey and South Africa to Italy local, national and international organisations came together with individuals in the streets to stand against the world’s dirtiest form of energy, which has dominated the energy sector for too long.

In Turkey, youth activists from across the globe attending Global Power Shift, joined with local groups in Istanbul, and  carrying a banner which read ‘Mandela, you inspire us’ in tribute to the former South Africa president, they marched through the city’s streets.

Meanwhile in South Africa over 100 activists met in Johannesburg’s Gandhi Square with a symbolic anti-coal installation calling on the government to unplug coal power.

age of coal - south africa protest

Protestors in South Africa call on the government to unplug from coal. Courtesy of: Greenpeace South Africa

In Italy, Greenpeace activists displayed a huge floating banner reading “No Carbone – Quit Coal” in the sea alongside the Enel coal power station in Civitapvecchia, close to Rome, while an installation on dry land aimed to highlight the human impacts of the coal industry.

And in India, the day of action brought groups from across the Vidharbha region, affected by coal mining, together to share their frustrations, and come up with ideas on how to help each other to end the age of coal in their communities.

Burning coal remains the biggest contributor to climate change, which is already causing devastation and human suffering around the globe as intense storms, droughts and water shortages hit.

This year, the world passed an historic milestone, as concentrations of greenhouse gases passed the 400 parts per million threshold – reaching levels not seen for 3 million years.

Meanwhile, organisations from the World Bank to the International Energy Agency have warned against the impact continued investments in fossil fuels would have on the planet, and health professionals continue to warn about the health impacts of coal – what they have named, “the silent epidemic”.

Despite such warnings, 1,200 new coal plants and mega coal mines are planned in countries across the world including China, India, Australia, Indonesia, the US, Poland and Germany. If allowed to go ahead, these could push the planet beyond the point of no return.

age of coal - italy action

In Italy local groups highlighted the health risks of coal in their protests. Courtesy of: Greenpeace Italy

This weekend, activists showed they would not longer stand by allow the advancement of coal to threaten their futures. Standing together, they called for an end to the use of the dirty fuel and to put pressure on governments to switch to clean, sustainable, renewable energy.

The day of action was supported by a coalition of over 50 national and international organisations that span the globe, including Greenpeace350.orgAvaazCoalSwarm.orgEnvironmental Justice Organisations, Liabilities and Trade (EJOLT)Friends of the Earth International, and the Sierra Club (International Climate Program).


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TckTckTck is the online hub for the Global Call for Climate Action. The GCCA represents an unprecedented alliance of more than 400 nonprofit organizations from around the world. Our shared mission is to mobilize civil society and galvanize public support to ensure a safe climate future for people and nature, to promote the low-carbon transition of our economies, and to accelerate the adaptation efforts in communities already affected by climate change.

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