Tens of thousands of protesters gathered in New York City on Sunday to kick off New York’s Climate Week, a week of climate-related protests, which include calls to end the use of fossil fuels.
Shouting that the future and their lives depend on ending the use of coal, oil and natural gas, people who joined the so-called March to End Fossil Fuels on Sunday aimed their anger directly at President Biden, who urging him to stop approving new oil and gas. projects, phase out existing ones and declare a climate emergency with greater executive powers.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, DN.Y., and actors Ethan Hawke, Edward Norton and Kevin Bacon joined Sunday’s event, which was the opening salvo to New York’s Climate Week.
“We have people all over the world in the streets, demonstrating, demanding a stop to what’s killing us,” Ocasio-Cortez told attendees. “We need to send a message that some of us will be living on this planet 30, 40, 50 years from now. And we’re not going to take no for an answer.”
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Organizers estimated 75,000 people marched on Sunday.
Protesters called on Biden to make climate change and ending fossil fuels a priority in his re-election strategy.
“We hold the power of the people, the power you need to win this election,” Emma Buretta, a 17-year-old of the youth protest group Fridays for Future, told The Associated Press. “If you want to win in 2024, if you don’t want the blood of my generation on your hands, end fossil fuels.”
Signs included “Biden, End Fossil Fuels,” “Fossil fuels are killing us” and “Biden Declare A Climate Emergency.”
Fox News Digital reached out to Ocasio-Cortez’s office for further comment, but did not immediately receive a response.
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Organizers of the protest stressed that they felt the frustration of Biden, who many of them supported in 2020, because he increased drilling for oil and fossil fuels.
“President Biden, our lives depend on your actions today,” said Louisiana environmental activist Sharon Lavigne. “If you don’t stop fossil fuels our blood will be on your hands.”
Jean Su, a march organizer and energy justice director for the Center for Biological Diversity, added, “You have to phase out fossil fuels to survive on our planet.”
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About one-third of the world’s planned drilling for oil and gas between now and 2050 will be by US interests, environmental activists calculate. Over the past 100 years, the United States has put more heat-trapping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than any other country.
China currently emits more carbon pollution on an annual basis.
This protest was more focused on fossil fuels and industry than previous marches, and American University sociologist Dana Fisher said 15% of Sunday’s demonstrators were there for the first time. The group is also heavily female.
Oil and gas industry leaders advocated for helping the environment but defended the continued use of fossil fuels as essential to the nation’s current infrastructure.
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“We share the urgency of tackling climate change together without delay; but doing so by eliminating America’s energy options is the wrong approach and will leave families and businesses American dependent on unstable foreign regions for higher cost and less reliable energy,” American Petroleum Institute Senior Vice President Megan Bloomgren told The Associated Press.
Climate Week typically involves leaders in business, politics and the arts gathering in support of the environment. This week includes a new special United Nations summit on Wednesday organized by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.