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 Climate activists unfurl Sydney Opera House banner

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PostSubject: Climate activists unfurl Sydney Opera House banner   Tue Dec 15, 2009 11:41 am

http://sg.news.yahoo.com/afp/20091215/tap-un-climate-warming-australia-protest-5a1703c.html



SYDNEY (AFP) - – Protesters scaled Sydney's Opera House on Tuesday to unfurl a large banner demanding world leaders settle their differences and strike a global climate treaty at troubled talks in Copenhagen.

Five Greenpeace activists were arrested for the stunt, in which they climbed the shell-shaped building using grappling ropes to display a 100 square metre (1,076 square feet) sign saying "Stop the Politics -- Climate Treaty Now."

"The most important thing is that we get the message across, rather than the fact that some activists get arrested because it's such a critical time in the process at Copenhagen," said Greenpeace's Australia chief Linda Selvey.

"Basically, (Prime Minister) Kevin Rudd and other world leaders seem to be focusing more on politics than they are on getting the outcome, which is what we need for the planet."

The protest came just hours after developing nations staged a walk-out from the UN climate talks, raising fears of a catastrophic failure in efforts to strike a worldwide deal on cutting pollution blamed for global warming. Related article: Walkout threatens climate talks failure

Australia is seen as an important player at the talks, despite failing to pass carbon trading legislation envisaging emission cuts of between five and 25 percent of 2000 levels by 2020.

"The fossil fuel industry is very cashed up and has been spending a lot of money to get the ear of politicians," Selvey said.

"We feel it's very important to use whatever tactics we can to get our message across on behalf of Australians."

Parts of Australia, the world's hottest and driest continent, are in the grip of a 10-year drought while the country also suffered deadly bushfires this year, heightening public concern over climate change.

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