Hundreds of angry climate protesters took to the streets of Lisbon on Saturday, with dozens storming a building where Portugal’s Economy Minister Antonio Costa e Silva was speaking demanding that the former oil executive resign.
Holding banners and chanting slogans, protesters demanded climate action. As some demonstrators broke into the building, those outside shouted: “Out Costa e Silva!
“It is important because we are indeed experiencing a climate crisis. The situation is serious and urgent.” climate activist Marta Leandro told Reuters. “What we do or do not do in this decade will have a great impact for climate security, for the future of new generations and current ones.”
Police officers dragged some protesters out of the building.
Portuguese broadcaster RTP reported the minister left the building through a back door.
The protest in Portugal took place as world leaders, policymakers and delegates from nearly 200 countries gathered at the COP27 U.N. climate summit in Egypt.
But some activists do not believe COP27 will solve the problem.
“I think favoring large companies and their monetary interests has made people close their eyes to the planet, to people’s lifestyles, to people’s quality of life, to the quality of the planet.” climate protester Joao Duarte said. “I think there will be no change until governments stop being best friends and allies of the big companies. That’s why these events are so important.”
U.N. experts said in a report on Tuesday that promises by companies, banks and cities to achieve net-zero emissions often amount to little more than green washing.
“The situation is serious and urgent,” Marta Leandro, the VP of Portuguese environment group Quercus, said at the protest in Lisbon. “What we do or do not do in this decade will have a great impact on climate security.”
Reuters contributed to this report.