How effective are climate protests at swaying policy?
As yet another United Nations climate summit approaches in the shape of COP28, which kicks off in Dubai this week, signs of public exasperation with the failure of climate policymaking are plain to see. After three decades of negotiations, greenhouse-gas emissions are still rising and time is running out to stop global heating from reaching catastrophic levels. In response, people around the world are trying to work out how best to get their voices heard.
September, for example, saw protests across more than 65 countries. Demonstrators demanded “less talk, more action” outside the first Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi, Kenya — a nation where climate change has already exacerbated insecurities in water and food supplies. In Libya, where flooding killed thousands of people after dams burst, protesters demanded accountability. Worldwide, more than 600,000 people took part in actions linked to the Global Fight to End Fossil Fuels, including 75,000 people marching in New York City.