Wed, 20 Jan 2021

Climate crisis gatecrashes OPEC gathering

09 Dec 2019, 04:13 GMT+10

Vienna - The climate crisis was the unexpected guest at this week's gathering of the OPEC bloc of oil producers and its allies which this time happened to coincide with the UN's climate summit in Madrid.

In many countries the 'Fridays for Future' movement have been mobilising young people weekly in order to agitate for action on climate change.

On Friday a hundred people marched to OPEC's headquarters with banners demanding "Keep it in the ground" and representations of humanity and nature standing on blocks of ice in mock gallows.

OPEC insisted in a statement at the end of the two-day meeting that "all OPEC member countries are actively engaged and supportive of the Paris Agreement," the 2015 deal which aims at limiting global warming to "well below" two degrees Celsius.

On Thursday, Venezuela's Oil Minister - and current OPEC chair - Manuel Quevedo said: "One of most important issues affecting the industry is the climate challenge."

That was after dozens of climate change activists gathered outside OPEC headquarters in a silent protest, holding banners that read: "Burn injustice not oil" and "Fossil fuels have got to go."

OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo received several of them and re-assured them that "there are no climate change deniers in OPEC".

At OPEC's last meeting in July Barkindo raised eyebrows by attacking what he called "unscientific" attacks on the oil industry by climate change campaigners, calling them "perhaps the greatest threat to our industry going forward".

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