School students march in Adelaide, AustraliaMARK BRAKE/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock By New Scientist Staff and Press AssociationStudents around the world are striking today in a major global day of action against climate change. The protests are expected to be the biggest international action yet, eclipsing the first large-scale student protest on 15 February. Young people have already taken…
Students around the world are striking today in a major global day of action against climate change. The protests are expected to be the biggest international action yet, eclipsing the first large-scale student protest on 15 February.
Young people have already taken to the streets in places including New Zealand, Australia, Japan, the Philippines, Nepal, India and European cities as part of an expected 2000 events in more than 120 countries.
Read more: Greta Thunberg: Why I began the climate protests that are going global
In the UK, walkouts are taking place in more than 100 towns and cities, driven by what students say is “an alarming lack of government leadership on climate action”.
The global day of action has been inspired by teenager Greta Thunberg, who protests every Friday outside Sweden’s parliament to urge leaders to tackle climate change. In an interview withNew Scientist, Thunberg emphasised how – despite the media attention that the protests have received – there is still a lack of action on the part of politicians worldwide: “They talk about our age, our looks and so on. The emissions are still rising and that is all that matters. Nothing has happened, that is crucial to remember.”
Students in the UK are calling for the government to act urgently on climate change by declaring a climate emergency and tacking active steps to tackle the problem. Their calls come in the wake of a UN report last year warning that unprecedented action will be required to limit global temperature rises to 1.5°C.
Protestors began to gather in London’s Parliament Square this morning, including Greta Breveglieri, a political science student at the University of Milan, who travelled from Italy for the demonstration. “To put it bluntly, we’re here because our world is going to be destroyed. We have to change the pace of our culture, our society, our politics, our economics,” she said.
In Berlin, 10,000 protesters, most of them young students, gathered in a central square waving signs with slogans such as “There is no planet B” and “Climate Protection Report Card: F”, before a march through the capital’s government quarter.
More protests are being held throughout the day.
- Are you taking part in today’s climate protests? Tweet us your photos and let us know why you’re protesting using #ClimateStrike
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