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Climate Protests

MARCH ON Protesters in New York City call on the U.S. government to end the use of fossil fuels, on September 17. SPENCER PLATT—GETTY IMAGES

Thousands of protesters took to the streets of New York City on September 17. They had a message for President Joe Biden: It’s time for the United States to move away from oil and gas.

“We hold the power of the people,” said protester Emma Buretta, 17. “If you want to win [reelection] in 2024,” she addressed the president, “end fossil fuels.”

The protest marked the beginning of Climate Week. The United Nations has brought world leaders to New York for a summit on climate change. Many leaders, including Biden, won’t be there.

The U.S. is one of the top producers of planet-warming gases caused by the burning of fossil fuels. The protesters want the U.S. government to stop approving new fossil-fuel projects and end oil drilling on public lands. And they want the president to declare climate change a national emergency.

In response, the White House says that “President Biden has treated climate change as an emergency . . . since day one.”

Athena Wilson, 8, traveled from Florida with her mother to take part in the marches “because we care about our planet,” she said. “I really want the Earth to feel better.”

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