Climate change activists stage G7 protest on Cornwall beach

Hundreds of environmental protesters took to the Cornish seaside Saturday morning in a bid to draw the attention of world leaders and the international media outlets that have descended on southwest England for the G-7 summit.

Some protesters paddled out to sea, while others sunbathed on the beach wearing masks of leaders’ faces.

A crowd of surfers, kayakers and swimmers gathered Saturday on a beach in Falmouth for a mass “paddle out protest” organized by the group Surfers Against Sewage, which is campaigning for more action to protect oceans.

U.S. President Joe Biden and fellow leaders from the Group of Seven wealthy democracies are meeting near the town of St. Ives for talks focusing on the pandemic and climate change.

Max Lawson, Oxfam’s head of policy, said activists want the G-7 countries – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K. and the United States – to commit to bigger reductions in carbon emissions and to financing to help poor countries adapt to the impacts of climate change.

“We’ve only got nine years left to halve carbon emissions if we are going to stop dangerous climate change happening, so it is great that Joe Biden has given new impetus to climate talks which are crucial and happening at the end of the year in the UK, but the G-7 need to do a lot more,” he said.

Earlier, as activists from Oxfam assembled on Falmouth beach to protest climate change they put on masks depicting the leaders attending the G-7 summit.

The protesters also brought a message in a bottle to launch an SOS call for climate, as they sat sunbathing and building sand castles on the beach.

Climate change is among the top issues on the agenda of the summit, but activists say G-7 leaders have been talking for years now while more action is needed to cut carbon emissions.