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Pakistanis join global fight for climate justice

Participants of climate justice march demand world leaders to take bolder actions in fighting climate change

Hundreds of citizens participated in a Climate Justice March on Monday, organized in Lahore, demanding bolder action in fighting climate change amid the ongoing 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) meeting.

The march was organized on the call of Asian People’s Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD), and attended by social activists, representatives of trade unions, students and members of civil society.

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Most of the participants were wearing red shirts while holding placards in their hands and chanting slogans demanding justice for a better environment. ‘Climate Action Now’, ‘Stop Air Pollution’, ‘Clean Energy’, ‘Say No To Fossil Fuels’, ‘Stop Funding Fossil Fuels’, ‘We Need Clean Air’, ‘Stop Cutting Trees’ and many other attractive slogans were inscribed on placards.

“We demand world leaders to put efforts for a better future for coming generations,” said Asma Amir, a participant of the march.

Like Asma, other participants also demanded world leaders to initiate meaningful actions against climate change.

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Leaders of the march, while addressing participants said that world leaders had failed to address the climate challenges at COP26 event while they were committed to address the various challenges during the ongoing summit in Glasgow.

Farooq Tariq from Pakistan Kissan Rabita Committee said that fossil- and coal-based energy projects must be stopped immediately. He said that gas- and oil-based energy systems were not only expensive but also detrimental to the environment.

Farooq added that sustainable energy methods needed to be adopted so that Pakistan became self-sufficient in energy.

Environmental lawyer Ahmed Rafay Alam said that the problem of climate change can’t be only left to political parties, he said that everyone needs to play their part. “Pakistan has good sources of renewable energy systems and we must explore the alternative resources to produce energy,” he stressed.

Haqooq-e-Khalq Movement spokesperson Ayesha Ahmed said that Lahore had become one of the most polluted cities on earth owing to the negligence and lack of understanding of climate issues.

Zaighum Abbas, an academic and activist associated with APMDD, said that climate change couldn’t be addressed without the radical transformation of capitalist production. He added that the environment was being destroyed primarily by bigger corporations which had prioritized profits instead of environment.

It is important to note that on the occasion of this year’s COP26 conference, movements have peaked across Asia to demand climate justice. Thousands of people joined in more than 500 simultaneous movements in seven Asian countries on November 8th.

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