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Thousands march in Paris to protest climate change

Marcha por el clima, en París. Los manifestantes no aceptaron suspender el evento ni posponerlo a pesar de la manifestación de los chalecos amarillos. Reuters

Around 2,000 Green Vests have taken to the streets of Paris to protest climate change, as the UN climate conference continues in Poland. Numbers are well down from previous marches in September and October which gathered 130,000 people.

The march went ahead despite security fears after clashes between police and yellow vest protestors earlier today in the Champs-Elysées area.

But after a recent UN report showed greenhouse gas levels had increased worldwide this year and the widening gap between the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement and what countries are achieving, organisers said the stakes were too high.

"It feels like the sense of urgency has not been heard," spokesperson for the march Yacine Ait Kaci told Le Monde daily. "We are more afraid of global warming than demonstrating."

The route was however modified to take demonstrators away from the Champs-Elysées area.

'Let’s change the system'.

The Yellow Vest protests were sparked by opposition to a fuel tax designed to finance the move over to more renewable energies, so it would seem yellow and green vests are on opposite sides.

But organisers of today’s march, including filmmaker and ecologist Cyril Dion, had appealed to yellow vests to join in and present a united front.

As a result, the march was held under two different banners: “climate warning” and “end of the world, end of the month, let’s change the system”.

A few yellow vests accepted the invitation.

“I’m here to show yellow vests are not professional vandals and that they’re interested in ecology,” 21 year old Adrian told RFI. “Our current system won’t give us more ecology, it’s only interested in profit.”