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Climate activists block Geneva airport's private-jet terminal

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By Reuters
Climate activists block Geneva airport's private-jet terminal
Extinction Rebellion climate change activists play on a slackline as others block an entrance to general aviation terminal at the Geneva Airport, Switzerland November 16, 2019 REUTERS/Denis Balibouse   -   Copyright  DENIS BALIBOUSE(Reuters)

GENEVA (Reuters) – Climate-change activists blocked Geneva airport’s private jet terminal on Saturday in protest against what they said is an absurd form of transport.

Geneva is a hub for the private jets of the rich and powerful who either live nearby or travel to the lakeside city for its private banks, auction houses, hospitals and United Nations offices.

Dozens of activists sat in front of the small terminal building, linking arms in peaceful protest. Police cordoned off the area.

“We have blocked the private-jet terminal to defend the principle of climate and social justice,” Extinction Rebellion’s Geneva chapter said on Facebook. “This means of transport is completely absurd.”

Extinction Rebellion was founded in Britain last year, inspiring waves of disruptive actions around the world to call for rapid cuts in carbon emissions and the repair of collapsing ecosystems.

“Our politicians are only taking small measures, to satisfy citizens, while at the same time saying that we have to make efforts, that if everyone one makes efforts, we can fight against climate change,” said a protester who gave his name only as Nicolas, 27, a student.

“Making only people responsible can’t work when you have private jets companies like this one, behind us, which keeps on emitting tons and tons of CO2 in the atmosphere,” he said.

The company that operates the terminal said Saturday’s protest had caused few complications as traffic was light but it was not clear how much longer the demonstration would last.

(Reporting by Marina Depetris; Additional reporting by Francois Murphy in Vienna)