Climate change protesters march in Copenhagen

12/12/2009 BBC  Thousands of people are marching through Copenhagen as part of global protests to demand action from leaders at UN climate talks there.Security has been stepped up along the four-mile (6km) route, with extra police on the streets and security fences put up around some buildings. Correspondents say the protest has been mostly peaceful although there have been some arrests. Marches were also held in Australia, Hong Kong, Jakarta and the Philippines.

More than 50 protesters were arrested in Copenhagen following a smaller demonstration on Friday. Organisers said they expected between 60,000 and 80,000 protesters from around the world to join Saturday’s march across the city to the conference centre where negotiators and ministers are meeting. Danish police told AFP news agency they estimated some 30,000 people had
gathered at a rally before the march.

The BBC’s Matt McGrath in Copenhagen says the crowd is colourful, with some protesters arriving dressed as polar bears and others draped in blue and green to show their support for the planet.
Activists are arguing for an ambitious, legally binding agreement on emissions cuts to be signed by world leaders at the summit’s conclusion at the end of next week. “This is the right time to shout out and let leaders know this is serious business for us all. Lets hope they listen,” Lin Che, a 28-year-old student from Taiwan, told Reuters news agency.

A number of famous figures were due to join the protest, among them Bollywood actor Rahul Bose, model and photographer Helena Christensen and former UN human rights commissioner Mary Robinson. ‘Safe climate’ . In Australia, where events were held as part of the country’s fifth Walk Against Warming, the largest protest was held in Melbourne. The march closed with protesters spelling out the message “Safe Climate - Do It!” on the ground. Organisers said aerial photographs had been taken and would be sent to delegates at the talks in Copenhagen.

In Adelaide, activist James Dannenberg told state radio: “We want [world leaders] to bring home a treaty, we want them to stand by the Pacific and our neighbours there. “And we want them to deliver and ensure a safe climate future for us all.”  Thousands of demonstrators also gathered in front of Australia’s parliament house in the capital, Canberra. On Friday, European Union leaders agreed a three-year deal to pay 7.2bn euros (£6.5bn; $10.6bn) to help poorer nations cope with climate change. But leaders of developing countries and some aid agencies described the sum offered by the EU as inadequate.

Meanwhile, in Copenhagen, officials released a draft text of a possible final deal in which rich countries are asked to raise their pledges on greenhouse gas emissions cuts.

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