Watch CBS News

Protesters continue to demand end of use of fossil fuels to combat climate change

Climate change protesters demand action during U.N. General Assembly
Climate change protesters demand action during U.N. General Assembly 03:17

NEW YORK - There's tight security and a gridlock alert as President Joe Biden and other world leaders are in New York City for the U.N. General Assembly. 

Many roads are closed for the events this week, and traffic isn't the only issue: Climate change protests led to dozens of arrests. 

Protesters flooded the Financial District Monday morning, making their voices heard. Many were willing to risk arrest to send what they call an urgent message 

"We have to end the use of fossil fuels," one person said. 

"Regular people understand the urgency of the climate crisis and for some reason global leaders and Wall Street financial leaders are not understanding the emergency," another person said. 

"I am here to protect the future from the greed, the terrible lack of forethought on the part of fossil fuel companies," protester Jo Shuman said. 

The protesters are demanding President Joe Biden declare a climate emergency and stop fossil fuels. 

"This is an emergency. Our planet is on fire. It's flooding," one person said. 

The protest is one of the many ways people from around the globe are sending a strong message about the implications of our warming earth.

Action Speaks Summit, hosted by Ingka Group, offers an immersive experience on 3rd Avenue – walk inside and enter a bleak reality – New York City enveloped in smoke – you can smell it, too. Then, a few more steps, and you'll step into what's possible.   

"What New York in 2050 could look like if we really change the game and move forward on our climate change agenda together," Ingka Group Chief Sustainability Officer Karen Pflug said. 

Pflug believes this utopia – greenery flowing from every building façade and rooftop, an investment in renewable energy – can be realized. 

"It's ambitious, but need to. We don't have an alternative. Only radical collaboration makes it possible," Pflug said. 

The experience continues, with more than 30 solutions to the climate crisis. For example, the Minesto Dragon Kite moves underwater to capture Tidal Energy, and LiveWire, an electric motorcycle built by Harley Davidson. 

"One third of all the carbon solutions that we need are here in nature. It's trees," Monica Medina of the Wildlife Conservation Society said. 

Medina said Climate Week, held in conjunction with the U.N. General Assembly, means opportunity. 

"This week, when all the world comes here, we can use this as a stage to talk about what we're doing to stop climate change all around the world and to save nature and biodiversity," Medina said.  

Medina believes, in addition to restoring natural habitat, the most important thing society must do to combat climate change is to end our dependence of fossil fuels. That's a message that will echo throughout the city during Climate Week 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.