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Activists kicked out of UN climate talks after protest

Dozens of young campaigners and indigenous rights activists were thrown out of United Nations climate talks Wednesday after staging a protest demanding that nations commit to act now to avert catastrophic climate change.

Several sources at the crunch negotiations told AFP that some 200 protestors were “debadged” — their access permits were confiscated — after security guards forced them out of the building and prevented them from leaving a car park.

The demonstration saw hundreds of young people perform a cacerolazo — a type of protest originally from Chile that involves banging on pots and pans — right outside the plenary room where delegates from around the world were discussing the progress made in talks so far.

Protestors chanted “climate justice now!” and “Shame! Shame! Shame!” for several minutes before security intervened.

There were scuffles between protestors and security guards, before the activists were pushed backwards outside and held there by UN staff.

Journalists were then prevented from accessing them. The UN did not immediately responded to a request for comment.

Nations are gathered in Madrid to hash out the rulebook for the landmark Paris accord, which aims to keep global temperature rises “well below” two degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit).

But observers say barely any progress has been made on contentious issues such as climate finance, transparency and how nations already dealing with climate disasters are compensated for their loss and damage.

But with just 1C of warming, the world is already struggling with the impact of climate-related disasters such as super storms and droughts, as well as the costs involved to societies.

With just two days to go before the talks are meant to wrap up, there is little sign that the urgency that inspired millions to take to the streets this year demanding action is shared by delegates in Madrid.