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XR moves battle for climate justice online

EXTINCTION REBELLION activists have moved their fight against climate injustice online since the coronavirus has prevented street gatherings.

The environmental group launched its first “digital action” today, targeting the world’s biggest polluters by bombarding their social media, telephones and emails.

The “cyberstorm” is part of a campaign to kick out fossil-fuel companies from the COP26 UN climate talks, which are currently scheduled to take place in Glasgow this November.

Polluters such as Shell could be asked to join the climate panel, but campaigners say that including fossil-fuel firms would jeopardize the talks.

Countries participating in the COP26 are supposed to devise stringent plans to cut greenhouse emissions. 

Activists hoped that today’s action would disrupt the companies’ business days and “send a message that they are not welcome” at the summit.

Action was planned in countries across Europe as part of the Polluters Out campaign — a coalition of young people and scientists in over 60 countries. 

It comes amid reports that ministers have held private meetings to discuss the possible postponement of COP26. 

But Extinction Rebellion stressed that the coronavirus pandemic should not stop people also focusing on tackling the climate emergency. 

An Extinction Rebellion Youth statement said: “We are not going to pause our activism just because we can’t gather in the streets. We must adapt and find new forms of resistance.”

The environmental group, which in both April and October last year shut down central London for two weeks, said that it was now moving for further “mass mobilisation online” in the light of the pandemic.

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