There is a lot hanging on the 18th session of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change currently being held in Doha, Qatar, but with many in the media predicting another Copenhagen, some in the Emirate have taken to the street to make their feelings heard. On Saturday, over 800 people took part in a march for climate protection, believed to be the first demonstration of its kind to take place in Qatar.
According to media reports, the climate change march was attended by around 100 young activists from the Arab youth climate movement. They, and others in the march, demanded that Arab leaders, many of whom have gotten rich from the export of fossil fuels, to take the lead in the talks.
John Vidal of The Guardian noted that the climate change march was not impromptu, but instead was a “carefully and expensively orchestrated exercise by western-based NGOs and the Qatari government”. He also noted that the environmental partnership was formed with the Lebanese environment activist group IndyAct, 350.org, the Global Climate Change Alliance and Climate Action Network.
The march also had strict guidelines which were to be expected in the conservative emirate. According to Vidal, march guidelines stated that “Qatar is an Islamic country so we need to be respectful of the culture: men and women should dress modestly … tops should cover the shoulders and upper arms, and skirts or shorts should fall to or below the knee. This march is for environmental issues only.”
Images: adopt a negotiator