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Youth demand to stop funding for fossil fuel

Staff Correspondent
19 Apr 2024 20:35:19 | Update: 19 Apr 2024 20:38:46
Youth demand to stop funding for fossil fuel
— Courtesy Photo

Thousands of young people on Friday urged public investment banks, private sector organisations and investors to redirect the investments made in fossil fuel, and in harmful agribusiness towards more sustainable projects, renewable energy, and agro-ecology.

Youth and their platforms joined a global climate strike in front of the National Press Club. They demanded the end of fossil finance and asked the global leaders to fund their future at the “Global Climate Strike.”

More than five hundred slogan-shouting climate fighters gathered at the Shaheed Minar after starting the rally at the National Press Club and circling Doel Square. The protest ended with a call for climate justice, read a press release issued Friday.

Young people who participated in the event stated that the fossil financers from the Global North are the primary cause of the manmade climate crisis, neo-colonial exploitation, wars, and human rights violations.

With the capitalist mindset of making profit, the historically largest emitters of greenhouse gases are responsible for the climate destruction that is particularly and disproportionately harming youth, farmers, women, and marginalised communities in the Global South.

These practices are also increasing the ecological debt of the Global North that they owe to the most affected communities of climate crisis.

Thousands of young people from Activista Bangladesh Platform of ActionAid Bangladesh and more than 20 youth organisations attended the event.

Activista volunteers from 21 districts and their 7 local hubs also protested in solidarity with the climate activists across the country by participating in local demonstration in Satkhira, Bagerhat, Noakhali, Kurigram, Cox’s Bazar, Chattogram, Jamalpur, Netrokona, Sunamganj, Mymensingh, Bhola, Sylhet, Kishoreganj, Nilphamari, Kushtia, Barishal, Teknaf and Barguna and many other places.

In this lively and peaceful gathering, young activists along with people from all walks of life demanded climate justice through slogans, placards, figures, songs, plays and posters demanding “FixTheFinance”, “End Fossil Finance Now”, “Invest in Renewables”, “Stop Financing Harmful Agribusiness”, “Climate Justice Now”, “Invest in Agro-ecology” and many more.

Young people are therefore demanding from historically largest emitters, the Global North, and the financial institutions to immediately divert public expenditure away from subsidising fossil fuels and industrial agriculture, and to fund feminist just transitions to solutions such as renewables and agro-ecology.

Young activist Fahida Sultana said, “We are fighting to bring an end to fossil finance and focus more on renewable energy and sustainable agriculture. We are being hurt by the profit-hungry mentality of the wealthy. Our future cannot be sacrificed for profit for greedy corporations.”

Md Nazmul Ahsan, lead-young people, ActionAid Bangladesh remarked, “In solidarity with the young people, we raise our voices in a resounding call to dismantle fossil finance and prioritise sustainable investments in renewable energy and agro-ecology.

“Now is the time for action, not just talk, as we envision a future where profit never trumps the well-being of our planet and its inhabitants. We demand the global north to become responsible to accept responsibility for achieving climate justice and transfer technology as well as resources to foster green transition,” he added.

Country Director of ActionAid Bangladesh Farah Kabir expressed, “In the wave of global youth-led climate actions, ActionAid Bangladesh supports young climate activists and their platforms across the country to act and demand climate justice.

“Bangladesh is one of the most climate-vulnerable countries in the world, therefore we echo the demand of young people to put an end to fossil fuels and finance green transitions.”

She further mentioned, “We urge for an immediate ceasefire in Palestine, as we stand in firm solidarity with the innocent children and women who are being slaughtered by occupational force. We believe that the choices we made now will shape the world for generations to come in the realm of achieving justice.”

Young people also urged for an immediate ceasefire in Palestine and to stop the inhumane war that is going on right now. They expressed their deep empathy and sorrow for all the civilians, especially small children and infants who lost their precious lives.