18-year-old Ema Govea sat in the sunlight across from the White House, holding a black and white sign that said she was on a hunger strike, demanding action against it climate change.
Govia said she would rather go to school in her hometown of Santa Rosa, California, but the urgency now forces her to take action.
She and four other activists from the environmental advocacy organization Sunrise Movement began protests on Wednesday. They said that unless President Joe Biden fulfilled his campaign promises to take meaningful measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transform the United States into a green economy, they would not eat.
“We are putting everything we have into use; we are taking all risks to fight for a world that is absolutely worth fighting for,” Govia told Al Jazeera on Friday.
The hunger strikers want Biden to push A full 3.5 trillion U.S. dollars In his proposed social spending agenda, measures to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change are included.
Under the resistance of conservative Democrats, especially Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia and U.S. President Kelsten Cinemas in Arizona recognize Last week, the plan may be downsized.
White House Negotiating Discuss with legislators which parts of the legislation will be cancelled.
Govia said that Biden should behave like a “responsible adult, doing necessary things.”
“Obviously, he wants to be a climate leader. But at this point, everything is empty talk, no action,” she said.
Activists urged Biden to advance his agenda before the COP26 International Climate Summit in Glasgow, which begins at the end of this month, and stated that if the United States does the right thing, the world will follow the United States.
Biden himself has been warning about the severity of the climate crisis. “The threat to human existence is climate change,” he said at a conference. town Hall The conference aired on Thursday.
He added that if the world cannot control global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius, “we are done.”
On his first day as president, Biden Move and rejoin The 2016 Paris climate agreement, his predecessor Donald Trump has been abolished.
Earlier this week, several U.S. institutions Published report Emphasize that climate change is expected to adversely affect global stability and the national security of the United States.
But activists say there is a gap between the government’s words and actions.
Kidus Girma, one of the hunger strike protesters, blasted the president for closed-door negotiations with Manchin and the cinema instead of publicly calling on them to support his agenda.
“Why didn’t Biden broadcast and asked Joe Manchin to start fighting for the people of West Virginia,” Gilma told Al Jazeera.
He cited progressive Senator Bernie Sanders’ public opposition to Manchin, including publishing a column in a West Virginia newspaper to promote Biden’s social agenda.
“Why does Biden avoid and cringe… Why does he have to talk to the American public widely, instead of saying who is stopping him? Because now he can be said to be Joe Manchin, but it is mainly him; it is Biden not working hard enough ,” Gilma said.
On Friday, at a rally near the White House, dozens of people gathered around hunger strike protesters to urge the government to advance its own climate plan.
When asked how it felt after three days of no food, Gilma told Al Jazeera that he expressed “hunger and gratitude” to those who came to the rally on Friday to support.
Activists say this year is a turning point where the expected physical impact of climate change becomes a reality in the United States. Drought, flood, Huge wildfire, Fatal Heat wave with hurricane Attacked the country with alarming frequency and intensity.
Julia Paramo, a 24-year-old activist, said that her hometown of Dallas is still feeling “traumatic” like never before. Cold wave In early 2021, it caused a widespread power outage in Texas, resulting in 210 deaths in the state.
“We or ExxonMobil,” Paramo wrote on her forehead in a message against the fossil fuel industry. Like other hunger strikers, she sits in a wheelchair to save her energy.
She predicted that extreme weather events such as the cold wave in Texas will continue.
“The situation will only get worse. We don’t have the proper infrastructure to prevent these things from affecting our communities,” Paramo said. “We are still rebuilding in Dallas. We are still experiencing the trauma we experienced-fearing that it might happen again this winter.”