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'Be part of solution, not pollution': Protests in Delhi over climate change

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: September 20, 2019  | 20:56 IST

(Eds: Correcting typo in name in 6th last para) New Delhi, Sep 20 (PTI) The Fridays For Future held a protest here as part of a 'global climate strike' on Friday, and demanded that the government should focus on building climate resilience in cities. Asserting that climate change has become a reality due to global warming, around 300 people, most of them school students, staged demonstrations outside the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. "We want the government to reach net zero-carbon emissions by 2030, stop all fossil-fuel expansion by 2020, stop deforestation for needless urban projects...," said Aman Sharma, a Class XI student of Modern Public School, who was the part of the protest here. Fridays For Future is a movement that began in August last year after 15-year-old environmental activist Greta Thunberg protested in front of the Swedish parliament for three weeks against the lack of action on climate crisis. Thousands of people staged protests across the world on Friday and demanded action against climate change. The government should "completely stop all projects encroaching into our forests, ban single-use plastics, make waste segregation and recycling mandatory and cut out the fossil fuel industries' funds and start investing in the renewable energy sector fully," Sharma said. The protesters chanted slogans like "We want climate action", and displayed banners like "Be a part of the solution, not part of the pollution", "Respect existence or expect resistance" and "Climate Change: 12 years to save Earth". They also met Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, and raised the issue of deforestation. They told Puri how his ministry could be more practical and sustainable, Sharma said. "Puri told us that he is very committed to fight climate change and India should use all the available sources to fight (it)," the 16-year-old said. "Puri also said we need to strive a balance between development and environment." The protests started around 11.30 am till 2.30 pm. "Our parents were supposed to care for us and protect us. Our generation discovered that this is a lie," said Asees Kandhari. "There is nothing I wish for more than a time machine," the 15-year-old said. "But since that's impossible, I wish for the next best thing -- for our generation to come together and build a better future than the one you are leaving for us." PTI NIT HMB

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