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Report: Climate protests rising

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AFP PHOTO DDP / THEO HEIMANN / NEWSCOM

(Read caption) Greenpeace activists hold a banner reading 'Coal-fired power burns the climate!' and burn a symbol of carbon dioxide as they demonstrate on Nov. 13, 2008 in front of the Klingenberg power plant in Berlin.

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The Worldwatch Institute reports that climate protests are escalating worldwide, as more and more people join movements to block the construction of coal-fired power plants and pressure their governments to mandate greenhouse-gas-emission caps.

Worldwatch writer Ben Block cites recent demonstrations throughout Europe, Australia, and the United States. He quotes a clean-energy youth movement spokeswoman who marvels at the recent increase in participants:

"What I see is – in the last year – it just exploded and went from being a sizable amount of people, several thousands of very active youth all around the country, to just hundreds of thousands of young people," said Brianna Cayo Cotter, communications director for Energy Action Coalition, a network of North American youth climate activists. "I feel like the floodgates are about to open. We have the numbers. We have the skills. We have the passion."

Mr. Block reports that, in the United States, a movement against coal power that began four years ago has successfully cut in half the number of new coal-fired power plants.

The movement achieved a major victory last week, when a lawsuit by the Sierra Club prompted the Environmental Protection Agency to freeze construction of the roughly 100 new coal plants around the US. Coal power stations, the EPA ruled, must now take carbon dioxide emissions into account.

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