Youth lead protests against climate change in cities across the world

climate protests, globe, climate change, protests

Sydney/Bangkok - Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish activist who has inspired the movement, noted in a tweet the "huge crowd" in Sydney.



By Reuters

Published: Fri 20 Sep 2019, 9:59 PM

Last updated: Thu 13 Feb 2020, 10:47 AM

Hundreds of thousands of students, office workers and other protesters took to the streets around the world on Friday to demand global leaders gathering for a UN climate summit take urgent action to avert an environmental catastrophe.
The global climate strike kicked off in the Pacific islands - some of the nations most threatened by rising sea levels - and followed the rising sun through Australia, Japan, Southeast Asia and into Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
Social media posts showed scores of demonstrations, ranging from a few dozen primary school children in Abuja, Nigeria, to tens of thousands of people in cities from Hamburg, in Germany, to Melbourne, Australia.
Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish activist who has inspired the movement, noted in a tweet the "huge crowd" in Sydney, which she said would set the standard for strikes and protests planned in about 150 countries.
"Our future on your shoulders," read one banner stretched across a street by students in Berlin.
"Our oceans are rising, so are we," was a popular slogan on placards, including one carried by a student in school uniform in Melbourne and another by a girl wearing a facemask in Kolkata, in eastern India. The protesters are calling on governments to take immediate action to limit the harmful effects of manmade climate change.
The strike will culminate in New York when Thunberg, who has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for her climate activism, will spearhead a rally at the United Nations headquarters.
Danielle Porepilliasana, a Sydney high school student, had a blunt message for politicians such as Australian Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, who told parliament on Thursday that students should stay in class. "World leaders from everywhere are telling us that students need to be at school doing work," she said, wearing anti-coal earrings. "I'd like to see them at their parliaments doing their jobs for once."
The UN summit next week brings together world leaders to discuss climate change mitigation strategies, such as transitioning to renewable energy sources from fossil fuels. The issue is vital to low-lying Pacific islands, which have repeatedly asked wealthier nations to do more to prevent rising sea levels.
As Friday's day of action got underway across scattered Pacific communities, students holding placards in Kiribati chanted: "We are not sinking, we are fighting". Children in the Solomon Islands rallied on the shoreline wearing traditional grass skirts and carrying wooden shields. Hours later in Thailand, more than 200 young people stormed the Environment Ministry and dropped to the ground feigning death. "This is what will happen if we don't stop climate change now," said 21-year-old strike organiser Nanticha Ocharoenchai.


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