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Hundreds of angry climate protesters took to the streets of Lisbon on Saturday, with dozens storming a building where Portugal’s Economy Minister Antonio Costa e Silva was speaking demanding that the former oil executive resign.

Holding banners and chanting slogans, protesters demanded climate action. As some demonstrators broke into the building, those outside shouted: “Out Costa e Silva!

Students show their painted arms while being barricaded inside a school as a protest for climate change and against the use of fossil fuels in Lisbon, Portugal, November 12, 2022.

Students show their painted arms while being barricaded inside a school as a protest for climate change and against the use of fossil fuels in Lisbon, Portugal, November 12, 2022.
(Reuters/Pedro Nunes)

“It is important because we are indeed experiencing a climate crisis. The situation is serious and urgent.” climate activist Marta Leandro told Reuters. “What we do or do not do in this decade will have a great impact for climate security, for the future of new generations and current ones.”

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Police officers dragged some protesters out of the building.

Portuguese broadcaster RTP reported the minister left the building through a back door.

Protesters for climate change and against the use of fossil fuels shout slogans in Lisbon, Portugal, November 12, 2022.

Protesters for climate change and against the use of fossil fuels shout slogans in Lisbon, Portugal, November 12, 2022.
(Reuters/Pedro Nunes)

Police officers remove a protester for climate change and against the use of fossil fuels from a private event where, according to the local media, Antonio Costa Silva, Minister of the Economy and Maritime Affairs of Portugal was participating in Lisbon, Portugal, November 12, 2022. 

Police officers remove a protester for climate change and against the use of fossil fuels from a private event where, according to the local media, Antonio Costa Silva, Minister of the Economy and Maritime Affairs of Portugal was participating in Lisbon, Portugal, November 12, 2022. 
(Reuters/Pedro Nunes)

The protest in Portugal took place as world leaders, policymakers and delegates from nearly 200 countries gathered at the COP27 U.N. climate summit in Egypt. 

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But some activists do not believe COP27 will solve the problem.

“I think favoring large companies and their monetary interests has made people close their eyes to the planet, to people’s lifestyles, to people’s quality of life, to the quality of the planet.” climate protester Joao Duarte said. “I think there will be no change until governments stop being best friends and allies of the big companies. That’s why these events are so important.”

Police officers clash with protesters for climate change.

Police officers clash with protesters for climate change.
(Reuters/Pedro Nunes)

U.N. experts said in a report on Tuesday that promises by companies, banks and cities to achieve net-zero emissions often amount to little more than green washing.

“The situation is serious and urgent,” Marta Leandro, the VP of Portuguese environment group Quercus, said at the protest in Lisbon. “What we do or do not do in this decade will have a great impact on climate security.”

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Reuters contributed to this report.


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