Extinction Rebellion dump horse manure outside UN climate summit

Bronwen Weatherby
AFP via Getty Images

Extinction Rebellion activists dumped horse manure and staged a mock hanging outside the venue of a UN climate summit in Madrid, airing their frustration world leaders' failure to agree on future battle plan against global warming.

Led by the environmentalist group, the actions were timed to coincide with the closing of the COP25 summit, where negotiators have been unable to reach a consensus on how to implement the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

"Just like rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic, this COP's fiddling of carbon accounting and negotiating of Article 6 is not commensurate to the planetary emergency we face," Extinction Rebellion said in a statement.

Twelve members of the group stood on melting blocks of ice, nooses drawn tight around their necks to symbolise the 12 months remaining until the next summit, when the Paris deal enters a make-or-break implementation phase.

Attached to the pile of manure was a short message to leaders saying "the horses*** stops here."

XR activists have been tipped over the edge by the lack of progress at the talks (AFP via Getty Images)

In contrast to a protest held last weekend, in which hundreds of demonstrators blocked one of Madrid's central shopping streets for a mass disco-dance, the mood at the gathering was subdued.

"Even if they reach an agreement it's still not enough. This is the 25th COP they've had and nothing has really changed," protester Emma Deane told Reuters from her perch atop an ice block, holding her young daughter in her arms.

"She's going to grow up in a world where there's no food on the shelves and that breaks my heart."

Still, Extinction Rebellion spokesman Ronan McNern stressed the importance of humour in the face of the climate crisis.

"Out of s*** comes the best roses. We hope that the international community comes together to create a beautiful future," McNern said.

Mass protests have been taking place across the world as concern grows for the future as the planet heats up.

XR members have also joined with Greenpeace in a demonstration in Amsterdam's Schiphol airport.

Dutch military police began forcibly removing the group from the main hall of airport today after they refused to leave.

Hundreds of protesters had arrived for a demonstration against "the big polluter" Schiphol organised by Greenpeace, which had been granted a permit to protest outside the building only. The group rejected that condition, saying citizens' rights to peaceful protest should not be restricted.

The group of around 100 activists gathered inside the hall chanting slogans for "climate justice" and carrying signs including one that advised travellers to "take the train".

Greenpeace is demanding that the airport draw up a better plan of action to curb the pollution it generates.

Dozens of police from the Marechausse, the force that guards Dutch borders, began removing the protesters one at a time, dragging or carrying those that resisted.

"After multiple warnings to leave Schiphol Plaza peacefully, the Marechausse has now begun arresting Greenpeace protesters," the force said in a statement.

Saturday's demonstration did not disrupt air traffic at Schiphol, one of Europe's busiest airports.

In its call to activists to attend the protest, Greenpeace said on its website: "We're in the middle of a climate crisis, but the big polluter Schiphol is being allowed to keep growing and polluting even more."

Schiphol, owned by the Dutch state, says it does have a climate plan, which among other measures includes cutting emissions on the ground by using electric vehicles.

"We realise that more is needed," the airport said. "This would involve more energy-efficient and cleaner aircraft, electrically-powered flight and the use of sustainable fuels."

In Madrid on Saturday, a two-week-long U.N. summit on climate change was mired in disputes over how to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement on global warming, with big polluting nations under last-ditch pressure from smaller nations to show serious commitment to tackling the issue. (