Protesters have taken to the streets of Vienna ahead of the European Gas Conference, which is set to take place from March 27th to 29th. On Saturday, around 80 members of the environmental activist group Extinction Rebellion blocked the Salztor Bridge in the city center, causing traffic diversions and delays. The group has said that this was just the beginning of a series of protests planned for the conference.
The international alliance “Block Gas” is expected to lead further demonstrations during the conference, with hundreds of activists from across Europe anticipated to attend. Verena Gradinger, spokeswoman for the civil society alliance, has predicted that the protests will be peaceful, but significant traffic delays are expected in the inner city areas.
The conference itself will be attended by representatives of the European gas lobby, who will be networking with politicians and corporations. However, details of the event have been scarce, which has only fuelled the activists’ concerns about the destructive impact of the gas industry on the climate and environment. The protests are intended to raise awareness about these issues and urge those in power to take immediate action to mitigate the damage caused by the industry.
The demonstrations have garnered significant support, with more than 150 scientists showing solidarity with the activists in a joint statement. The statement emphasized the urgent need for action to prevent a catastrophic rise in global temperatures that would have dire consequences for the planet and its inhabitants.
It is not just environmental activists who are concerned about the impact of the gas industry on the environment. Many ordinary citizens have expressed their opposition to the conference and the industry in general, and are calling for a transition to more sustainable forms of energy.
The protests are expected to continue throughout the duration of the conference, with more demonstrations planned in the coming days. The police are on high alert and have warned that there may be spontaneous protests, which could cause further disruption.
The protests in Vienna highlight the growing concerns about the impact of the gas industry on the environment and the urgent need for action to mitigate this impact. The conference will undoubtedly be a key battleground for these issues, as activists and industry representatives clash over the future of energy production in Europe and beyond.