MADRID (Mainichi) -- A large-scale demonstration for stronger measures against climate change was held in Spain's capital, the venue for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change's 25th United Nations Climate Change Conference, known better as COP 25, on the night of Dec. 6 local time.
Young people from across the world gathered at the event, including Swedish environmental campaigner Greta Thunberg, 16, to try and impel leaders to listen to the next generation. The group pushed for national governments to make concrete moves toward reducing Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions and other harmful practices.
Local police said that some 15,000 people convened for the protest. Banners in languages including English and Spanish were held aloft at the event, with some reading, "Our generation is climate change's victim," and, "There is no replacement for the Earth." The group marched along an around 4-kilometer route through the center of Madrid.
A 25-year-old demonstrator from Mexico said many leaders in central and south America refuse to act against climate change, and that she was there to ensure those silenced in suppressed environmental protection movements could be heard.
Around 10 students from Japan were demonstrating together among the procession, carrying placards including one reading, "Do you hear us (Minister of the Environment) Koizumi?" while chanting, "Stop using coal," to express their anger toward the Japan government's refusal to stop supporting coal-fired powerplants.
Yuhei Tsukamoto, 24, a graduate student from Kyoto, said, "You get a sense of young people being unified in aiming for a carbon-free world here. I want Japan to clearly show the world it is raising its targets."
On Dec. 6, Thunberg arrived in Madrid and joined a group of young protesters in front of COP 25's venue prior to the demonstration. She said at a press conference, "We would love some action from the people in power. People are suffering and dying from the climate ecological emergency, and we cannot wait any longer."
(Japanese original by Toshiyuki Suzuki, Science & Environment News Department)