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Climate change protesters scale Sydney Opera House

world Updated: Dec 15, 2009 08:12 IST

AP
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Environmental activists scaled the iconic Sydney Opera House on Tuesday to unfurl a banner urging world leaders to strike a treaty to combat climate change.

Police took five people into custody after bringing them down from the building after about two hours, New South Wales state police Detective Inspector Paul McDonald said. The three women and two men from Greenpeace could face stiff fines if they are charged with trespassing or causing damage to the building. Television footage showed several people with climbing harnesses and helmets clambering over one of the opera house's distinctive white, sail-shaped roof structures, hanging a banner that read: "Stop The Politics, Climate Treaty Now." Authorities quickly removed the sign.

More than 100 world leaders are gathering in Copenhagen this week to try to hammer out a plan to fight global warming, but negotiations have bogged down in arguments about how much different countries should cut their greenhouse gas emissions. "World leaders seem to be focusing more on politics than they are on getting the outcome which is what we need for the planet," said Linda Selvey, Greenpeace's chief executive for the Australia.