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Earth Day climate protest: Let's raise our voice, not the temperature!

Dan planeta zelena akcija web

(c) Ena Jurov

Zelena akcija/FoE Croatia invites you to a protest that will take place on Earth Day, April 22, at 4:00 p.m. on Strossmayer Square in Zagreb. The main slogan of the protest is "Let's raise our voice, not the temperature!".

Expect speeches from environmental, human rights, women's rights and youth organisations and initiatives, labour unions, and musical performances by Elemental, ABOP and the Choir Domaćigosti. Our dear friends from the Drum'n'bijes collective will warm up the atmosphere.

With the protest, FoE Croatia wants to call on the Croatian Government to adopt a green and just new deal for Croatia, and the Parliament to declare a state of climate emergency. Urgent action is needed to mitigate climate change and avoid potentially irreversible damage to people and the environment.

We live in an age of multiple and interconnected crises - energy, climate, social and humanitarian - generally a crisis of the cost of living. The International Energy Agency estimates that fossil fuel costs are responsible for about 90 percent of current inflation, with fossil gas accounting for half of that. To fight inflation, governments raise interest rates, which increases the cost of loans and rents. And when energy costs rise, food and transport costs rise, goods imports rise and heating prices rise. Everything is connected.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine exposed how vulnerable our dependence on fossil fuels makes us. However, the response of our Government and other European governments to the war and energy crisis is the same extractive energy model that pushed us into this crisis. Last year alone, five fossil fuel companies - Exxon, BP, Chevron, Shell and Total - collectively earned $200 billion. That is ten times more than the annual EU budget for just transition. A budget that should help workers in dirty industries to move to jobs in the renewable energy sector. Numerous organisations and the International Trade Union Movement warn that due to the usual policies and decades of inaction, the transition process will be much more painful, especially for workers. In a recent report, Friends of the Earth Scotland, along with around 1.000 workers in the gas and oil sector, called for a just energy transition. This transition should be guided by interests of workers, the most vulnerable groups and local communities, and not exclusively by capital.

There is money, but what is missing is fair distribution and political will. Progress is slow at the system's level, and the Government of Croatia supports dependence on fossil fuels because it only replaces one source with another. We know this is a more comprehensive geopolitical game in which conflicts are fought over resources, and people, who are least to blame for wars and climate change, are suffering. In Mozambique, where Croatia also imports LNG from, European companies came to local communities under the army's protection and evicted people from their land, which led to violent conflicts. By using this gas, Croatia directly incites violence in countries like Mozambique. The local population is impoverished, women are sexually assaulted and the elite is getting rich. Also, the number of forcibly displaced people within the borders of the countries most affected by the climate crisis, and those forced to flee to neighbouring countries due to the consequences of this crisis, is growing daily. Although the UN has recommended treating climate refugees as full-fledged refugees, the international legal framework is still outdated, and wires and beatings await refugees at the gates of Europe.

On this year's Earth Day, FoE Croatia urges to raise our voices for a just transition, for workers, for people fleeing climate disasters and conflicts, for women who suffer sexual violence as a result of fossil fuel extraction and the climate crisis, for today's youth and future generations, and for cooperation and solidarity between nations. In general, for all of us who want to live in safe and warm homes without dirty (in every sense of the word) fossil fuels!

For now, the protest was supported by:

  • Greenpeace in Croatia
  • Institute for Political Ecology
  • fACTIVE (Feminist Collective)
  • Živi Atelje DK (Women to Women Collective)
  • Association "Cyclists' Union"
  • Initiative Zeleni Filozofski
  • Center for Peace Studies
  • Society for Sustainable Development Design
  • Extinction Rebellion Zagreb
  • Youth Initiative for Human Rights
  • Network of anti-fascist women Zagreb
  • Fridays For Future Croatia
  • Croatian Youth Network
  • Are You Syrious?

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