On Sunday, tens of thousands of protesters chanted that the future and their lives depended on an end to fossil fuels. Leaders will try to take a week off Contain again climate change Mainly caused by coal, oil and natural gas.

But protesters say that’s not enough. They are directing their ire at U.S. President Joe Biden, urging him to stop approving new oil and gas projects, phase out existing projects and declare a climate emergency with greater executive powers.

“We have the power of the people, the power we need to win this election,” said Emma Buretta, 17, of Fridays for Future, a youth protest group in Brooklyn. “If you want to win in 2024, if you don’t want the blood of our generation on your hands, end fossil fuels.”

The March to End Fossil Fuels features Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and actors Susan Sarandon and Ethan Hawke , Edward Norton, Kyra Sedgewick and Kevin Bacon. But the real action on Broadway came as protesters gathered in the streets, praying for a better but less popular future.It’s the kick-off to Climate Week in New York, where the world’s leaders in business, politics and the arts come together to try to save the planet, highlighted by a new special United Nations Wednesday summit.

Many leaders of the countries responsible for the worst carbon pollution will not attend. Nor will they speak at a summit organized by UN Secretary-General António Guterres in such a way that only countries that commit to new concrete actions will be invited to speak.

Organizers estimated that 75,000 people would march on Sunday.

“People around the world are taking to the streets to demand that what is killing us stop,” Ocasio-Cortez told the cheering crowd. “We have to send a message that 30, 40, 50 years from now, those of us will of people will continue to live on this planet. We won’t take no for an answer.”

This protest focused more on fossil fuels and the industry than previous marches. Dana Fisher, a sociologist at American University who studies environmental movements and surveyed march participants, said Sunday’s rally attracted a large number of first-time protesters, 15 percent, the vast majority of whom were women.

Of the people Fisher spoke to, 86% had recently experienced extreme heat, 21% had experienced flooding and 18% had experienced severe drought, she said. Most of them reported feeling sad and angry.The earth just went through The hottest summer on record.

Among the marchers was Athena Wilson, an 8-year-old girl from Boca Raton, Florida. She and her mother, Malia, flew from Florida to attend Sunday’s protest.

“Because we care about our planet,” Athena said. “I really want the planet to feel better.”

Alexandria Gordon, 23, from Houston, said people in the Global South, especially those home to the oil industry and in the Global South, “didn’t feel heard.” “It’s frustrating.”

Protest organizers emphasized their frustration with Biden overseeing an increase in oil and fossil fuel drilling. Many of them supported Biden in 2020.

“President Biden, our lives depend on your actions today,” Louisiana environmental activist Sharon Lavigne said. “If you don’t stop using fossil fuels, our blood will be on your hands.”

Environmentalists calculate that nearly a third of the world’s planned oil and gas drilling between now and 2050 is led by U.S. interests. The United States has pumped more heat-trapping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere over the past 100 years than any other country, even though China now emits more carbon pollution every year.

“We need to phase out fossil fuels for our planet to survive,” said march organizer Jean Su, director of energy justice at the Center for Biological Diversity.

Marchers and speakers spoke of a growing sense of urgency and fear about the future. The V actress, born Eve Ensler, premiered “Panic,” a song from her new climate change-themed musical set to be released next year. The chorus goes: “We want you to panic. We want you to act. You stole our future and we want it back.”

Slogans include “Even Santa Claus knows coal is bad,” “Fossil fuels are killing us,” “I want a fossil-free future” and “Leave it in the ground.”

Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakat said this was because leaders didn’t want to acknowledge the “elephant in the room”. “The problem is that fossil fuels are the cause of this crisis. We can’t eat coal. We can’t drink oil and we can’t make any new fossil fuel investments.”

But oil and gas industry officials say their products are vital to the economy.

“We share the urgency to address climate change; however, doing so by eliminating U.S. energy options is the wrong approach and leaves American families and businesses burdened with higher costs and less exposure to unstable foreign locations. responsibility for reliable energy,” said Megan Bloomgren, senior vice president at the American Petroleum Institute.

Activists have no such idea.

“The fossil fuel industry is choosing to dominate, to conquer, to take, take, take without limit,” said Rabbi Stephanie Kolin of Congregation Beth Elohim in Brooklyn. “So the water is rising and the sky is turning orange. Heat is killing lives (due to wildfire smoke). But Mr. President, you can choose another path and be a protector of this planet.”

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AP’s climate and environment coverage is supported by multiple private foundations.Learn more about AP Climate Initiative here. The Associated Press is solely responsible for all content.

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