Algarve youths rise up against climate change

A climate change protest will be held in Faro, Lagos, Portimão and Tavira on Friday, September 27 as part of the international initiative ‘Week For Future’, described as a “weeklong movement surrounding the UN Climate Summit to wake world leaders up to the truth of the climate crisis”.

It is a youth-led movement, but organisers are calling on everyone to take part. The main protests on September 27 will begin at 5pm in the four towns, which were chosen so that the whole of the Algarve is covered.

Apart from the main protest, other events will be taking place in the region between Friday, September 20 and 27, including a protest at a shopping centre and several clean-up initiatives.

Mourana Monteiro, one of the youngsters in charge of organising the movement in the Algarve, told Barlaventonewspaper: “The planet cannot wait anymore. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change – says that the global temperature of the earth has increased 1ºC in the last 150 years. For civilisation to stay the way it is, with drinkable water and breathable air, we have to cut our greenhouse gas emissions by 50% before 2030.

“We need to start making changes now and that is why we want to alert the Algarve population,” said the 22-year-old, who earned her Psychology degree at the University of the Algarve.

Monteiro was also one of the organisers of the student-led strikes that were held on March 15 and May 24 in Faro that also shone the spotlight on climate change.

The first event on Friday, September 20 will be a peaceful protest at a shopping centre in the Algarve. Monteiro won’t reveal where but says the goal is to encourage people to stop overspending.

“We will protest with signs that show some statistics and which aim to inform the population about the risks of careless consumption. We will be walking into stores wearing old clothes,” she said.

The next day protesters will be taking to the streets of Faro to announce plans for the big protest on Friday, September 27.

“We will be talking to people, handing out pamphlets, showing that we exist and explaining the motives that make us want to fight”.

On Sunday, September 22, protestors will be carrying out a clean-up initiative in Portimão and Faro alongside Straw Patrol, with the goal being to use the collected rubbish to create a sculpture and erect it outside Faro town hall on the day of the main protest.

The group will also be raising awareness for the cause at supermarkets, schools and Faro Airport.

Original article written by Maria Simiris for Barlavento newspaper.

Photo: From left: João Zêzere, Mourana Monteiro and João Lázaro will be raising awareness about the climate crisis in a series of events this month. MARIA SIMIRIS/OPEN MEDIA GROUP