Millions of people including hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren are taking to the streets in 150 countries today for the largest climate protest in history.
‘Global Strike 4 Climate Change‘ protesters were photographed in Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines, India, Bangladesh, Uganda, Kenya, the Solomon Island, Cyprus, Poland, Germany and London on Wednesday morning, with those living in the Americas expected to join as the day wares on.
In Sydney, the first major city to take to the streets, Thor star Chris Hemsworth and his young daughter India joined 50,000 in a rally that saw some violent clashes between police and protesters.
Hundreds of thousands of children were among the crowds having walked out of lessons to join the marches, inspired by 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg who began leaving school every Friday in order to protest climate change in a movement that has spread around the world.
She is currently in Washington where she addressed Congress on climate change Thursday, and is expected to lead marchers there later today in New York.
Demonstrators are demanding world leaders take greater action to combat the effects of climate change, as each month sees new weather records broken. This year alone has seen the hottest month ever recorded on earth, record-breaking wildfires in Siberia, huge swathes of the Amazon burned, and the most powerful storm ever to make landfall hit the Bahamas.
Protesters take to the streets of Sydney on Friday morning as the largest climate demonstration in history, which is due to take place in 150 countries, got underway
Tens of thousands of people also took to the streets in Berlin, while other German cities including Frankfurt and Munich also saw their own demonstrations take place
Activists take part in Global Strike 4 Climate Change protests in Lodz, the manufacturing hub of Poland, on Friday
A young woman holds a poster as she takes part in a strike to protest against governmental inaction towards climate change in New Delhi, India – one of the most polluted countries anywhere in the world
Thousands of Turkish students, holding banners and posters, take part in demonstrations against climate change in Ankara
The majority of protesters are young people or children who walked out of school to take part in the demonstrations, inspired by activist Greta Thunberg. Pictured are demonstrators in Cyprus
Indonesian activists carry placards as they rally as part of a global climate change campaign in Jakarta
Advocates for environmental protection hold signs during a rally in solidarity with the Global Climate Strike at the University of the Philippines in Quezon City
People hold placards and chant slogans as they take part in a climate strike rally in Hong Kong’s Central district
Protesters gather during a global climate strike demonstration in Paris, France
School students and protesters gather during a climate strike rally in Dhaka, Bangladesh
Young demonstrators take part in the Global Climate Strike protest in Bangkok on Friday morning
Young people gather for a protest against climate change at the Old Town Square in Prague, Czech Republic
Schoolchildren protest with banners outside parliament in London, Friday, September 20
Greek students and activists of environmental take part in a Global Climate Strike rally of the movement Fridays for Future in Athens, Greece
Kenyan environment activists dressed in plactic waste attire join hundreds of youths and students during a protest against climate change in the streets of Nairobi, Kenya
Young people hold up banners as they take part in a march, part of the global Climate Walk 2019, against climate change in Wakiso, Uganda
Bali: People display placards during a rally as part of a global climate change campaign at Sanur beach on Indonesia’s resort island
Students take part in a demonstration part of the Fridays for Future global climate strike, in Wageningen, The Netherlands
Thousands of environmentalist gather during a demonstration to draw attention to global warming and climate change in Brussels, Belgium
In China – the world’s most polluting nation – President Xi’s government has banned the movement from protesting in its cities.
In Australia today, 300,000 people have taken part including more than 50,000 people in Sydney with Thor star Hemsworth and his young daughter India among those who flooded the streets calling for governments and businesses to commit to a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2030.
But there were some arrests as scuffles broke out between a minority of activists and police.
Children carrying placards saying ‘Time is almost up’ and ‘you will die of old age – I will die of climate change’ are being let out of school to march for urgent action on climate change.
In New York, the city’s Department of Education says all its 1.1million schoolchildren can skip class to participate in the strike if they had parental consent – without any fear of punishment.
Miss Thunberg, who has been nominated for a Nobel prize for her climate activism, will spearhead a rally at the United Nations headquarters in the city later.
As the sea of people made their way through the city, some school students on scooters could be seen heading in the opposite direction, while there was some fighting between protesters and police.
However, there were hundreds of young people proving their dedication to the cause as they carried artistic placards they had made the night before, which read: ‘Time is almost up’ and ‘There is no Planet B’.
Others could be seen scribbling their signs on old pieces of cardboard on the footpath as they waited for the event to begin.
People with masks ‘Planet’s last breath’ attend a demonstration as a part of the Fridays for Future global climate strike in Katowice, Poland
School children lie on the grass as they take part in the global climate walk 2019, against climate change in Uganda
Protestors sit down in the street in front of King’s College at the UK Student Climate Network’s Global Climate Strike in Cambridge
Participants in the Fridays For Future movement protest during a nationwide climate change action day in on September 20
Protesters attend the ‘Fridays for Future’ demonstration at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin
Protesters stand on blocks of ice while standing under gallows during the ‘Fridays for Future’ demonstration at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin
Dhaka: Bangladeshi students join the protest and claim world leaders are ‘acting like children’ over climate change
Young people hold up placards during a march in Skopje against climate change, part of the global Climate Walk 2019,
Thousands crowd main De la Loi street as they march during a climate protest in Brussels
In Australia today 300,000 people have taken part including more than 50,000 people in Sydney with Thor star Chris Hemsworth and his young daughter India among those who flooded the streets
One 14-year-old girl Daily Mail Australia spoke to had taken a two hour bus from the Central Coast to make it to the event and said: ‘I’m here because I’m afraid for my future. I don’t want to have kids and them to face the same problem’.
Britons joining the climate strikes can expect a day of unseasonably warm weather on Friday as they call on businesses and politicians to cut emissions.
Children and young people are preparing to walk out of lessons and lectures, with hundreds of thousands of workers expected to join them.
Missing a day of school for climate protest will hit your child’s exam chances, says UK’s schools minister
British schools minister Nick Gibb said the Government ‘shares young people’s passion’ for tackling climate change, but said children should not miss school to protest.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he said schools need to record the absences.
He said: ‘We share the passion, as a Government, of young people for tackling climate change, and that is why this Government and this country is committed to reaching net zero greenhouse gasses by 2050.’
He added: ‘We don’t think it should be at the expense of a child’s education because what we want is for the next generation to be as well educated as possible to tackle these kinds of problems, and you don’t do that by missing out on an education.’
He said even missing out on one day of school can affect GCSE results.
The protests are part of a snowballing movement sparked by teenage activist Greta Thunberg’s school strikes outside the Swedish parliament.
It comes ahead of a climate action summit in New York convened by UN secretary general Antonio Guterres to urge countries to up their climate efforts.
Much steeper measures are needed across the globe to prevent temperature rises of more than 1.5C (2.7F) or 2C (3.6F) to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
As if to underline the urgency of the issues, the mercury is set to hit 26C (78.8F) this weekend – 8C(46.4F) above average for the time of year.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: ‘It is unbelievable that we should need global strike action for the future of our planet to be taken seriously.
‘The stark reality is that our climate is changing rapidly and we are running out of time to address it.’
He promised strikers his full support, adding that City Hall had been invited to observe the strike themselves.
‘I hope governments around the world who are failing to take action hear the voices of millions of people, young and old, unified in their call for action to save our planet. Our future depends on it,’ he said.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is due to address a rally of climate strikers outside Parliament on Friday, while other events are being held up and down the country.
The UK Student Climate Network (UKSCN) says more than 200 events are taking place across the UK, with – for the first time – adults being encouraged to join the youngsters as they strike.
UKSCN is calling on politicians to bring in a ‘Green New Deal’ to cut the UK’s emissions to zero and improve lives, changes to education to equip youngsters to deal with the climate crisis and votes at 16 to give them a voice.
Among the many trade unions throwing their weight behind the strikes are the TUC Congress, the University and College Union and Unite.
Brisbane: Millions of people from across the globe are expected to walk out of work and school as part of ‘Strike 4 Climate Action’ which will be held in 150 countries on September 20
Sydney: Two young girls climb a pole as thousands gathered in the centre of the city as part of global mass day of action
The Global Strike 4 Climate will on Friday take place in 110 towns and cities across Australia, with organisers demanding government and business commit to a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2030
More than 50,000 people flooded Sydney’s streets as they made their way to the Domain to take part in the demonstration calling for governments and businesses to commit to a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2030
‘Can’t eat money, can’t drink money’: Protesters take to the streets in Sydney as part of the rally which happened across the globe on Friday
Brisbane (left) and Melbourne (right): More than 300,000 Australians have chosen to take part in the Global Strike 4 Climate
In Australia there were hundreds of young people proving their dedication to the cause as they carried artistic placards they had made the night before, which read: ‘Time is almost up’ and ‘There is no Planet B’
A young girl sits on a man’s shoulders during the Sydney protest on Friday. She held a sign which read: ‘There is no planet B’
Sydney: Children allowed out of school chant and throw their arms in the air during the world’s biggest planned climate protests
Thousands of protesters turned out for the climate strike on Friday. This woman wore green and wrapped a vine around her neck for the cause
Some businesses are actively supporting their workers to take action, with outdoor clothing company Patagonia closing stores and offices globally, and taking out adverts to support the strikers.
The Co-operative Bank has also teamed up with Unite to support its workforce to take part in the climate strikes around the country.
Worldwide, there are more than 4,600 events in 139 countries taking place as part of the Fridays for Future movement between Friday September 20 and 27, and campaign group 350.org says more than 70 unions, 500 organisations and 1,000 companies have come out in support of the strikes.
Muna Suleiman, Friends of the Earth campaigner, said most people wanted to fix the climate crisis but politicians needed to act.
She said: ‘Right when we need our leaders to step up, they continue to let us down.
‘From filling the skies with more planes, to backing fracking in the UK and funding oil and gas projects abroad.
‘That’s why we’re standing shoulder to shoulder with young people to call on our politicians to deliver emergency climate action now. And we’re asking everyone to join us.’
People attend a demonstration as a part of the Fridays for Future global climate strike in Warsaw, Poland
Activists take part in an environmental demonstration, part of the Global Climate Strike, in Lubin, Poland
Protesters at the UK Student Climate Network’s Global Climate Strike in Birmingham
Kenyan youths and students gather for a protest against climate change at the Uhuru Park in Nairobi, Kenya
Greek students and activists of environmental organisations hold placards and shout slogans during a Global Climate Strike rally of the movement Fridays for Future in Athens, Greece
Indonesia: A youth inhales from a can of oxygen as smog covers the city due to the forest fires in Palangka Raya while nearby a masked young woman holds a drawing warning of the consequences of climate change
Bangkok: Thai people protest in front of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment
Bangkok: Children with megaphones demand their politicians make changes to protect the future of the planet
New Caledonia: Protesters living on the small Pacific Island, a French territory, gather in the small capital of Noumea
John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace UK, said the school strikers have shown that people power could move governments.
He said: ‘The rest of us now need to step up and stand with the children demanding radical, systemic change, before it’s too late.’
Protests are planned in some 150 countries on Friday. The aim is for students and others from around the world to speak in one voice about the impending effects of climate change on the planet.
The strike will culminate in New York when Greta Thunberg, who has been nominated for a Nobel prize for her climate activism, will spearhead a rally at home of the United Nations headquarters.
Thunberg noted the ‘huge crowd’ in Sydney in a tweet, which she said would set the standard as the strikes moved across Asia, Europe and Africa.
By early afternoon, the Sydney protesters were overflowing out of a 34-hectare (84-acre) open space in the city. Similar crowds were reported in Brisbane and other state capitals.
Danielle Porepilliasana, a Sydney high school student, had a blunt message for politicians like Australian Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, who told parliament on Thursday that students should stay in class.
Young students take part in a ‘Friday for Future’ school strike in front of the Norwegian parliament
Some of the thousands of environmental activists including Extinction Rebellion march in Johannesburg, South Africa
People attend a ‘Fridays For Future’ rally in Hamburg, Germany
Filipino indigenous youth, students, and environmental activists take part in the Global Climate Strike in Quezon City
Protesters march to demand action on climate change, on the streets in Lagos, Nigeria
Pakistani people gather during a demonstration to draw attention on global warming and climate change in Islamabad
Young activists take part in the Fridays for Future global Climate Strike demonstration against climate change in central Stockholm, Sweden
‘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 brings together world leaders to discuss climate change mitigation strategies, such as transitioning to renewable energy sources from fossil fuels.
The issue is particularly pertinent to low-lying Pacific islands, which have repeatedly asked wealthier nations to do more to prevent rising sea levels.
Children in the Solomon Islands protested on the shoreline wearing traditional grass skirts and carrying wooden shields in solidarity with the global movement.
In Thailand, more than 200 young people stormed into the environment ministry and dropped to the ground feigning death as they demanded government action on climate change.
‘This is what will happen if we don’t stop climate change now,’ said 21-year-old strike organiser Nanticha Ocharoenchai.
No protests were authorised in China, the world’s biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions.
Where have demonstrations been taking place?
Hundreds of thousands of people around the world are joining demonstrations calling for action to tackle climate change.
Here are some of the latest protests from the “global climate strike”.
Some of the first rallies were held in Australia’s largest city, Sydney, and the national capital, Canberra. Australian demonstrators called for their nation – the world’s largest exporter of coal and liquid natural gas – to take more drastic action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Organisers estimated more than 300,000 protesters took to Australian streets in what would be the largest demonstrations in the country since the Iraq War began in 2003.
Hundreds of people marched in the streets of the capital Bangkok to demand the government takes measures to deal with the climate change crisis.
An organiser said about 250 people, mostly children with their parents, took part in Friday’s protest. Many were Westerners.
The organiser, 21-year-old Nanticha Ocharoenchai, said the demonstrators stopped at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to submit an open letter demanding the government declare a climate emergency, ban coal energy by 2025 and completely replace fossil fuel energy with renewable energy by 2040.
The protesters staged a “die-in” outside the ministry to dramatise their concerns, lying down on the pavement with many clutching home-made signs with slogans such as “Clean air is our right”.
Dozens of students and environmental activists gathered in the capital demanding immediate action.
They assembled outside the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in New Delhi.
They chanted slogans like “We want climate action” and “I want to breathe clean”, and carried banners with messages like “There is no earth B” and “Eco, not ego!”
– Hong Kong
About 50 people with banners and posters chanted “stop the pollution” as they marched along the harbour front under a blazing sun.
Organiser Dhanada Mishra, a visiting scholar at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, said younger generations will be seriously affected when the impacts of climate change are felt.
He said it is appropriate that young people should speak out and demand that their future is not jeopardised by government inaction.
In Berlin, organisers said 80,000 people gathered in front of the capital’s landmark Brandenburg Gate, not far from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office where the cabinet was thrashing out the final details of a plan to curb Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Police said several dozen activists also blocked a road in the heart of Frankfurt, Germany’s financial capital.
Organisers said more than 500 events were planned across Germany.
Dozens of activists marched in Manila to honour the memory of activists in the Philippines who were killed for defending the environment.
They marched to the offices of the Environment and Natural Resources Department, then staged a “die-in” protest while holding a banner saying “Stop the killings. Defend the environment defenders now!”
The group Global Witness says the Philippines had the highest number of killings of environmental defenders of any country in 2018, with at least 30 murdered.
A separate rally organised by student groups gathered in the afternoon at the state university. Hundreds participated bunched together to hold placards forming an image of the earth, with a big sign that said “There is no Planet B”.
Many middle schools gave students the day off to enable them to take part in the global climate protest. Thousands joined colourful marches with banners reading “There is NO Planet B” in the capital Warsaw and many other cities.
Critics say the government is dragging its feet on its programme of subsidies for families who do away with coal-burning heaters that are largely responsible for smog, especially in southern regions.
A coal-producing nation with tens of thousands of jobs in mining, Poland gets 80% of its energy from fossil fuels. The government’s plan for phasing coal out is slow paced, reaching to 2050.
Banners in Kenya’s capital Nairobi ranged from angry to playful, with one reading: “This planet is getting hotter than my imaginary boyfriend.”
Other protests are taking place in Johannesburg and the South African capital Pretoria.
Hundreds of people gathered in Johannesburg chanted and waved signs saying “Climate justice now” and “There’s only one Earth”.
Experts say Africa is the most vulnerable continent to climate change and the least equipped to deal with it. Governments have pleaded for more support from the international community.
About 100 young people, with several young women in the front carrying a banner emblazoned with “Fridays for future”, marched through central Kabul, following an armoured personnel carrier deployed for their protection as well as half a dozen army personnel behind them and along the route.
Fardeen Barakzai, one of the organisers and head of the local climate group called Oxygen, said: “We want to do our part. We as the youth of our country know the problem of climate change. We know war can kill a group of people… the problem in Afghanistan is our leaders are fighting for power but the real power is in nature.”
– Czech Republic
Thousands of students gathered in the Old Town Square in Prague, waving banners that read “More love, less coal”, “Science, not silence” and “Why should we go to universities when they don’t listen to the educated?” before marching through the city.
Organisers say rallies are taking place in about 40 places across the country.
In neighbouring Slovakia, President Zuzana Caputova has thrown her weight behind thousands of students rallying in four major cities, including the capital of Bratislava.
A sign reading “Lawmaker: know your climate” stood out in a sea of umbrellas during the event in Copenhagen. Smaller demonstrations were held in other Danish cities.
In Finland’s capital Helsinki, a man dressed as Santa Claus stood outside parliament holding a sign that said: “My house is on fire, my reindeer can’t swim.”
A rally in Swedish capital Stockholm snaked through the city centre behind a banner reading “School strike for climate”.
This content was originally published here.