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Activists dump manure at Madrid climate venue

December 14, 2019

As the Madrid climate talks rumbled on, Extinction Rebellion members unloaded a pile of horse manure in front of the UN meet. Squabbling over details was like "rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic," the movement said.

Police officers look at an activist from international climate action group Extinction Rebellion
Image: Getty Images/AFP/O. del Pozo

Extinction Rebellion activists delivered a pile of "finest horse manure" as a present to delegates from 200 nations gathered in Madrid for COP 25 climate conference.

The talks were scheduled to finish on Friday, but went into overtime as nations remain divided on limiting emissions and fighting global warming. The delegates have so far been unable to finalize the rulebook for the 2015 Paris climate accord, which also foresees international cooperation in its Article 6.

Activist attached a message to the pile of manure in front of the Madrid venue, saying simply "The horseshit stops here."

Party at Titanic

"Just like rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic, this COP's fiddling of carbon accounting and negotiating of Article 6 is not commensurate to the planetary emergency we face," the Extinction Rebellion movement said in a statement.

They added that "those traveling first class are still enjoying the party too much to hear the cries of those already drowning in the decks below."

Read more: Germany still has a lot to do on climate protection

Activist Emma Deane brought her young daughter to the Madrid protest.

"She's going to grow up in a world where there's no food on the shelves and that breaks my heart," Deane told the Reuters news agency.

The Paris climate accord aims to keep the global rise in temperature "well below" 2 degrees Celsius. However, the movement believes that the world is still headed for a 4 degree rise. Unless current trends are reversed, the planet will go past the point of no return in a matter of years, making any future efforts by humans to fight climate change useless.

Activists hold up a banner in Madrid
Activists believe that global warming would cause deaths on an uprecedented scaleImage: Getty Images/AFP/O. del Pozo

'Mutually assisted suicide'

The movement believes that Earth would no longer be able to sustain the current human population, so that billions would die.

"We cannot tolerate this genocide any longer and we do not tolerate this mutually assisted suicide any longer," spokesman Miguel Rodrigez said. "We have no ethical choice but to unite in non-violent civil disobedience and rebuild our fracturing world."

The movement demands the governments to "tell the truth" and declare a planet-wide emergency.

'Tax the plane, take the train'

Also on Saturday, Greenpeace and Extinction Rebellion staged a protest at one of Europe's busiest airports, Schiphol near Amsterdam. Over a hundred activists gathered inside the airport's entrance, demanding a better climate protection plan to curb the pollution caused by air traffic.

"Tax the plane, take the train," one of the signs read.

The protesters refused to leave and were eventually forcibly removed by the Dutch border police.

dj/xx (AFP, Reuters)

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