Greenpeace activists dangle suspended from the under-carriage of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia yesterday. Reuters African News Agency (ANA)
SYDNEY - Police arrested 13 people yesterday after they scaled the Sydney Harbour Bridge to demand Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison take emergency action to address climate change.

Security staff raised the alarm around 5.15am local time after protesters climbed the landmark bridge. Several protesters then abseiled down from the span to unveil banners underneath the bridge, including one that read: “Make coal history”.

Police said there was no disruption to road traffic, trains or ferries, and the final climber was removed from the bridge about four hours later.

Climate change has been a contentious topic for Morrison’s conservative coalition government ahead of an election on Saturday, with opinion polls showing the coalition is trailing the centre-left Labour opposition.

“This is a climate emergency, and the prime minister must listen to Australians whose lives are already affected,” said David Ritter, chief executive officer of Greenpeace Australia.

Infighting over how to address climate change has marked the coalition’s six years in power, with an influential right-wing base demanding Morrison support Australia’s coal industry, and the government struggling to convince voters of its commitment to tackling the issue.

Australia has pledged to reduce greenhouse emissions 26% from 2005 levels by 2030.

Reuters African News Agency (ANA)