Young French Climate Activists Arrested As They Turn To Civil Disobedience To Raise Climate Change Awareness

Climate Protest
Environmental activists of “Derniere Renovation” (Last Renovation) group sit next to cast iron radiators to block the Pont de la Concorde bridge in front of the National Assembly, to draw attention to climate change as COP28 is being held in Dubai, and to demand a large-scale plan for the thermal renovation of buildings and energy sobriety, in Paris, France, December 7, 2023. Camille, 33, a young Instagram influencer and environmental activist, (left, front row) attends the action by Derniere Renovation.  REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier© Thomson Reuters

Camille Chaudron was among a dozen people arrested on Thursday while helping climate activists block the Concorde Bridge in Paris, next to Parliament, to demand the government spend more on the thermal renovation of buildings.

A Reuters report said:

Camille Chaudron, the 33-year-old Instagram influencer helped place cast-iron radiators on the road in an act of civil disobedience that could translate into a fine and a jail term.

The action was led by the climate activist group Dernière Rénovation and was the first time Chaudron was taking part in an act of civil disobedience, a form of protest that is becoming increasingly popular among young people in France and abroad disillusioned by the political impasse on climate change.

For years, the Instagram influencer led a campaign online in favor of alternative environmentally friendly lifestyles, also engaging in street protests, petitions and online campaigns.

Last October, she went on a hunger strike to pressure the French government to abandon the construction of a motorway in the south of France.

Government’s inaction on issues such as pollution and the destruction of the environment has heightened her “climate anxiety”, she said.

Going the extra mile to carry out an act of defiance was thus a necessity, she added.

World leaders are gathering in Dubai since Nov. 30 for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), which this year is focusing on the controversial issue of phasing out fossil fuels.

French President Emmanuel Macron, who attended the meeting, said that the top priority is for the most advanced countries to move away from fossil fuels.

This year’s summit has been controversial because its president, Sultan al-Jaber, is the head of the UAE national oil company and he has also made a point of including oil and gas companies in the talks.

Activists taking part in Thursday’s action at the Concorde bridge called for a drastic increase in funds earmarked for thermal renovation, a measure needed to meet the France’s climate targets.

The Marshall Islands Brought a $35 Billion Plan At COP28

Other media reports said:

To understand the injustices of the climate crisis, take a look at the Marshall Islands.

The country is responsible for less than 0.01% of greenhouse-gas emissions that are warming the planet, yet it’s among the most vulnerable to its effects. As glaciers and ice sheets melt at an alarming pace, sea levels are encroaching on the dozens of coral atolls and five islands that make up the nation in the Pacific Ocean.

Most of the Marshall Islands are only 6 feet — or a couple of meters — above sea level. By 2070, sea levels are projected to rise nearly 2 feet.

“That does not sound like a lot, but that would actually inundate most of the main urban centers every 10 years and damage a lot of our islands, making it unlivable,” Kathy Jetn̄il-Kijiner, the Marshall Islands’ climate envoy, told Business Insider.

High tide and swell waves would put the nearly 42,000 residents of the Marshall Islands at risk of regular flooding and food insecurity.

To stave off that kind of devastation, the Marshall Islands crafted a $35 billion adaptation plan, unveiled Wednesday at the UN climate summit in Dubai, known as COP28. The plan could save people’s lives and an Indigenous culture deeply intertwined with the environment, Jetn̄il-Kijiner said. She explained that her necklace was made by local artisans who pound, strip, and dry leaves into a thread that is then woven with shells. Traditions like that could disappear along with the coastlines where native plants and marine life flourish.

The adaptation plan calls for fortifying low-lying islands, building seawalls, elevating homes, and constructing desalination plants. But it can only be carried out with the help of wealthy economies like the US and the European Union.

The wealthy nations that are most responsible for the climate crisis are under pressure at COP28 to boost financial aid for developing countries so they can become more resilient to natural disasters and be compensated for climate losses.

U.S. Pledge

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris announced on Saturday that the US would pledge $3 billion to a Green Climate Fund devoted to developing countries. Former U.S. President Barack Obama made a similar promise in 2014, only $2 billion of which has been delivered so far. The U.S. also committed $17.5 million to a new “loss and damage” fund that countries agreed to set up at the outset of COP28.

The world’s wealthiest nations were supposed to provide $100 billion a year in climate funding by 2020 but hit the target two years later. That is not enough to cover the amount developing nations would need to adapt to the changing climate — the UN recently said they would require hundreds of billions of dollars more.

The Marshall Islands has long been a leader in advocating for aggressive climate action during UN summits. At COP28, the country hopes a deal emerges to double the finance target.

“It is completely inequitable to expect us to pay for this ourselves,” Jetn̄il-Kijiner said.

She added that countries also need to agree to phase out fossil fuels.

“Adaptation can only protect us for now,” she said. “But the costs are going to be exponentially worse if we do not address the root cause of the crisis, which is fossil fuels.”

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