Climate change and activism through 2019: Powerful images that defined the year in 'climate emergency' [Photos]

A multibillion-tree planting drive, a fascinating ocean plastic cleanup mission and 11 other images that show global climate action and inaction from the year.

tech2 News Staff December 24, 2019 14:46:32 IST
A pack of one-horned rhinoceroses take shelter on high-ground after the Kaziranga National Park along with the rest of Assam saw extreme flooding. Image: Biju BORO/Getty
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A pack of one-horned rhinoceroses take shelter on high-ground after the Kaziranga National Park along with the rest of Assam saw extreme flooding. Image: Biju BORO/Getty
US President Donald Trump announced that the US will be backing out from the Paris Agreement – a treaty signed by close to 200 nations around the world in 2015 to curb emissions and keep global warming within 1.5 degrees by 2100. He declared that the US will back out of the treaty to media and American dignitaries in the Rose Garden of the White House. Image: Joyce Boghosian/Flickr
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US President Donald Trump announced that the US will be backing out from the Paris Agreement – a treaty signed by close to 200 nations around the world in 2015 to curb emissions and keep global warming within 1.5 degrees by 2100. He declared that the US will back out of the treaty to media and American dignitaries in the Rose Garden of the White House. Image: Joyce Boghosian/Flickr
People in Venice sit outside in ankle-deep water because the entire city was flooded due to rising sea levels. Image: Flickr
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People in Venice sit outside in ankle-deep water because the entire city was flooded due to rising sea levels. Image: Flickr
The Amazon rainforest in Brazil was burning in an annual environmental disaster that affects the region's ecology. This year, the numbers increased due to government-sanctioned felling of trees and clearing of forest area to make way for agriculture and for-profit businesses. 2019 was also the year with the highest number of forest fires since 2013. Image: Carl De Souza/Getty
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The Amazon rainforest in Brazil was burning in an annual environmental disaster that affects the region's ecology. This year, the numbers increased due to government-sanctioned felling of trees and clearing of forest area to make way for agriculture and for-profit businesses. 2019 was also the year with the highest number of forest fires since 2013. Image: Carl De Souza/Getty
Iceland's Okjokull is the first glacier recorded in human history that was lost to climate change, earlier this year. These images show the before (left) and after (right) of the area in Iceland where the glacier is located. Image: NASA
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Iceland's Okjokull is the first glacier recorded in human history that was lost to climate change, earlier this year. These images show the before (left) and after (right) of the area in Iceland where the glacier is located. Image: NASA
Sixteen young climate activists from around the world have filed lawsuits against five countries — Germany, France, Brazil, Argentina, and Turkey. They accused these countries of not keeping to their obligations to tackle climate change and failing to solve the crisis which they believe constitutes the violation of children’s rights. Image credit: Climate vs Climate
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Sixteen young climate activists from around the world have filed lawsuits against five countries — Germany, France, Brazil, Argentina, and Turkey. They accused these countries of not keeping to their obligations to tackle climate change and failing to solve the crisis which they believe constitutes the violation of children’s rights. Image credit: Climate vs Climate
Actors Jane Fonda and Ted Danson were among 32 climate change protesters arrested in Washington, DC in which they demanded immediate action for the Green New Deal, clean renewable energy by 2030, and no new exploration or drilling for fossil fuels. Image: John Lamparski/Getty
7/15
Actors Jane Fonda and Ted Danson were among 32 climate change protesters arrested in Washington, DC in which they demanded immediate action for the Green New Deal, clean renewable energy by 2030, and no new exploration or drilling for fossil fuels. Image: John Lamparski/Getty
'You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words,' were among the many sharp phrases climate activist Greta Thunberg addressed world leaders with at the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit in New York. In her emotionally-charged speech, she accuses those in power of ignoring the science behind the climate crisis, saying, 'we are [at] the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth -– how dare you!' Image: Screengrab from YouTube/UN
8/15
'You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words,' were among the many sharp phrases climate activist Greta Thunberg addressed world leaders with at the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit in New York. In her emotionally-charged speech, she accuses those in power of ignoring the science behind the climate crisis, saying, 'we are [at] the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth -– how dare you!' Image: Screengrab from YouTube/UN
Passengers walk on the waterlogged rail tracks of Ernakulam Junction station in Kochi in Kerala on 21 October 2019. Kerala is one of many Indian states and regions that have been badly affected by increasingly-frequent and intense extreme weather events. These disasters are growing in frequency and intensity, as researchers claim, ever since climate change impacts have been experienced and better-understood. Image: STR/AFP
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Passengers walk on the waterlogged rail tracks of Ernakulam Junction station in Kochi in Kerala on 21 October 2019. Kerala is one of many Indian states and regions that have been badly affected by increasingly-frequent and intense extreme weather events. These disasters are growing in frequency and intensity, as researchers claim, ever since climate change impacts have been experienced and better-understood. Image: STR/AFP
Residents of housing board complex in Chennai stand in line and fill water from common tap in June 2019. The locals say they get municipal water supply for two hours in the morning every alternate day. All four major reservoirs supplying water to Chennai have dried up. The only hope for the city to tide over the water crisis is the water in Veeranam lake, and the 2 desalination plants that supply 200 million litres a day (MLD) of water to the city besides groundwater supply/borewell. Image: Atul Loke/Getty
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Residents of housing board complex in Chennai stand in line and fill water from common tap in June 2019. The locals say they get municipal water supply for two hours in the morning every alternate day. All four major reservoirs supplying water to Chennai have dried up. The only hope for the city to tide over the water crisis is the water in Veeranam lake, and the 2 desalination plants that supply 200 million litres a day (MLD) of water to the city besides groundwater supply/borewell. Image: Atul Loke/Getty
A Netherlands-based non-governmental organization with a focus on environmental engineering and technology, The Ocean Cleanup, is working on extracting plastic from the oceans. After years of testing, they deployed their first full-scale prototype to rake up the 80,000 metric tons of plastic in the Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch. There are an estimated 1.8 trillion plastic pieces in the patch, which the Ocean Cleanup technology aims to clean up at the rate of 50 percent every 5 years. Image: Screengrab from YouTube/Ocean Cleanup
11/15
A Netherlands-based non-governmental organization with a focus on environmental engineering and technology, The Ocean Cleanup, is working on extracting plastic from the oceans. After years of testing, they deployed their first full-scale prototype to rake up the 80,000 metric tons of plastic in the Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch. There are an estimated 1.8 trillion plastic pieces in the patch, which the Ocean Cleanup technology aims to clean up at the rate of 50 percent every 5 years. Image: Screengrab from YouTube/Ocean Cleanup
A group of young Ethiopian girls take part in a national tree-planting drive in the capital Addis Ababa in July 2019. Ethiopia had planned to plant a mind-boggling four billion trees by October 2019 – part of a global movement to restore forests to help fight climate change and protect resources. The country went on to plant an estimated 3.5 billion between June and August. Another 1.5 billion plants were grown, but not planted according to the last official numbers by the Ethiopian government. Image: Michael Teweldw/AFP
12/15
A group of young Ethiopian girls take part in a national tree-planting drive in the capital Addis Ababa in July 2019. Ethiopia had planned to plant a mind-boggling four billion trees by October 2019 – part of a global movement to restore forests to help fight climate change and protect resources. The country went on to plant an estimated 3.5 billion between June and August. Another 1.5 billion plants were grown, but not planted according to the last official numbers by the Ethiopian government. Image: Michael Teweldw/AFP
A young protester takes part in a rally against climate change inaction in Mumbai on 24 May 2019. Image: Getty
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A young protester takes part in a rally against climate change inaction in Mumbai on 24 May 2019. Image: Getty
Refugees and the local host community fish together at a stream formed by intense flooding in Maban, South Sudan in November 2019. Large areas of eastern South Sudan have been affected by heavy rains in the past months, leaving an estimated 4,20,000 people displaced from their homes. Currently, there's no way to tell or track where climate refugees will go, which is an added pressure on a steadily–worsening situation. Image: Alex McBride/AFP/Getty
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Refugees and the local host community fish together at a stream formed by intense flooding in Maban, South Sudan in November 2019. Large areas of eastern South Sudan have been affected by heavy rains in the past months, leaving an estimated 4,20,000 people displaced from their homes. Currently, there's no way to tell or track where climate refugees will go, which is an added pressure on a steadily–worsening situation. Image: Alex McBride/AFP/Getty
The women pictured are among 20 million people world over that have been forced to migrate in recent years due to extreme weather events fuelled by climate change. Of those displaced, 80 percent are in Asia. Image: Palani Kumar.
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The women pictured are among 20 million people world over that have been forced to migrate in recent years due to extreme weather events fuelled by climate change. Of those displaced, 80 percent are in Asia. Image: Palani Kumar.