xi's moments
Home | Europe

Protesters in Italy turn the Grand Canal green

By JONATHAN POWELL in London | China Daily Global | Updated: 2023-12-11 09:16

Climate protesters hang from a bridge over the dyed-green water of the Grand Canal, in Venice, Italy on Saturday, during a demonstration by Extinction Rebellion. MANUEL SILVESTRI/REUTERS

Activists from the Extinction Rebellion collective poured fluorescein dye into the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy on Saturday, causing the waters to turn green, as a provocative demonstration to raise awareness about the climate emergency while the United Nations COP28 summit unfolds in Dubai.

During the incident, a number of demonstrators used ropes and harnesses to suspend themselves from the city's Rialto Bridge, unfurling a banner that condemned the Italian government.

"COP28: while the government talks, we hang by a thread," the banner read.

In a social media post, Extinction Rebellion Italy said that it had sprayed a "harmless" fluorescein dye into the Venice waters.

"The climate crisis is already having a disastrous impact on Italy, science tells us it's going to get worse and politicians are wasting time with farce," the group said in the post. "We are revolting against this inaction, we cannot remain silent while our future is sold out to the fossil industries!"

Other images shared by the group on social media showed similar acts were executed in the Tiber River in Rome, a canal in Milan, and the Po River in Turin.

Two days previously, another climate civil-disobedience group, Ultima Generazione, or UG — Last Generation, had sprayed a mixture of mud and chocolate over Venice's Saint Mark's Basilica.

Italian environmentalists said there has been a lack of progress at the COP28 summit.

"In a few hours, these waters will be back to what they were before," Extinction Rebellion said in a statement. "In the meantime, while governments talk, we count the damage and the victims from constant floods and fires."

Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro condemned the actions of the so-called "eco-vandals" and urged the Italian authorities to take strict measures against them. Boat traffic on the Grand Canal was temporarily stopped during the protest, which necessitated safety checks on the canal water and on the recently renovated columns of the Rialto Bridge, the Reuters news agency reported.

Delegates at the United Nations COP28 summit are seeking to cement a climate deal early this week.

The draft of a potential final COP28 agreement, released on Friday, included an option to "phase out of fossil fuels in line with best available science" and one to phase out "unabated fossil fuels" and another that made no mention of fossil fuels at all, reported Reuters.

COP28 President Sultan al-Jaber has called on delegates from nearly 200 countries to reach a consensus before the end of the two-week summit on Tuesday.

China's top climate envoy, Xie Zhenhua, has said that this year's climate summit posed the greatest challenge in his career, emphasizing that without a consensus on the future of fossil fuels, prospects that the summit will be hailed a success are slim.

"I have participated in these climate negotiations for 16 years," he told reporters. "The hardest meeting is this year's. There are so many issues to settle."

Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349