Stop fossil fuel extraction, activists cry at San Francisco climate summit

By Inquirer.net |September 14,2018 - 07:07 PM

SAN FRANCISCO, California — As Typhoon Mangkhut and Hurricane Florence threaten to barrel through the Philippines and the US, respectively, climate activists are demanding government leaders and businesses at the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) to commit to ending fossil fuel extraction.

Government leaders, businesses and civil society representatives flocked to the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California, to attend the GCAS, a summit from Sept. 12 to 14. It was organized by California Gov. Jerry Brown to galvanize investments in climate action from the private sector.

“What we really need leaders to do is to commit to no new extractions of fossil fuels… 100 percent renewables is great and we applaud that. But that’s not enough,“ Leila Salazar-Lopez, executive director of US-based Amazon Watch, said during a protest action outside the event’s venue.

‘America’s Pledge’

Amid swirling uncertainty about the commitment of the US to global climate action under the Trump administration, cities and businesses have banded together to push for support for the Paris Agreement under the banner “America’s Pledge.”

“We want the world to know that Americans are more determined than ever to make progress on climate,“ philanthropist Mike Bloomberg, a former mayor of New York City, said during the opening ceremonies of the GCAS.

California: 100% renewable energy for electricity by 2045

A few days prior to the launch of GCAS, Brown signed a historic bill that would ensure carbon-free electricity for the whole state of California by 2045.

The law has been hailed as a landmark legislation that signifies the state’s protest against Trump’s regressive policies against climate action.

Critics cite, however, that Brown has approved 20,000 oil and gas drilling permits since he returned to office eight years ago.

Brown is a champion of shifting to clean energy, but critics point out that California’s continued oil and gas drilling is a stain on the state’s climate action commitments.

“I believe Jerry Brown that he will achieve 100 percent renewables, but that’s not going to stop climate change. Keeping fossil fuels in the ground will,” Salazar-Lopez said.

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