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Climate change protests around the world

World News | Published:

Details from the major demonstrations in the ‘global climate strike’.

Australia Climate Protest

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”.

– Australia

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.

Australia Climate Protest
(Rick Rycroft)

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.

– Thailand

Hundreds of people marched in the streets of the capital Bangkok to demand the government takes measures to deal with the climate change crisis.

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An organiser said about 250 people, mostly children with their parents, took part in Friday’s protest. Many were Westerners.

Thailand Climate Protests
(Thanis Sudto/AP)

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”.

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– India

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.

India Climate Protests
(Manish Swarup/AP)

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.

Hong Kong Climate Protests
(Vincent Yu/AP)

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.

– Germany

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.

Germany Climate Protests
(Markus Schreiber/AP)

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.

– Philippines

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!”

Philippines Climate Protests
(Bullit Marquez/AP)

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”.

– Poland

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.

Poland Climate Protests
(Czarek Sokolowski/AP)

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.

– Africa

Banners in Kenya’s capital Nairobi ranged from angry to playful, with one reading: “This planet is getting hotter than my imaginary boyfriend.”

Kenya Climate Protests
(Ben Curtis/AP)

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.

Residents of Africa’s most populous city, Lagos in Nigeria, joined the demonstrations.

Environmentalist Desmond Majekodunmi said for the first time all of humanity faces a threat to their very existence, “so the only way we can overcome that problem is by coming together, forgetting our differences”.

– Afghanistan

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.

Afghanistan Climate Strike
(Ebrahim Noroozi/AP)

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.

Czech Republic Climate Protests
(Petr David Josek/AP)

In neighbouring Slovakia, President Zuzana Caputova has thrown her weight behind thousands of students rallying in four major cities, including the capital of Bratislava.

– Scandinavia

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.”

Finland Climate Protests
(Emmi Korhonen/Lehtikuva/AP)

A rally in Swedish capital Stockholm snaked through the city centre behind a banner reading “School strike for climate”.

– France

Teenagers and children as young as 10 in Paris traded classrooms for the streets to call on their government to do more to combat climate change.

France Climate Protests
(Francois Mori/AP)

Chanting “anti-capitalism” and “join us, don’t watch us”, they marched from the Place de la Nation to Parc de Bercy. The demonstration took on a festival-like feel as bands played and youngsters danced in the eastern Paris park.

– Balkans

Hundreds joined demonstrations in several cities in Bosnia, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia, demanding action to protect the environment and address pollution.

Serbia Climate Protests
(Darko Vojinovic/AP)

In the southern Bosnian city of Mostar, about 100 high school students held a protest march. Some held banners that read: “Save the World” and “Our home is burning!”

Several hundred young people gathered in Split, on Croatia’s Adriatic Sea coast, carrying a huge banner that urged, “Split, wake up!” Activists warned Split could face flooding due to global warming.

Dozens of people also marched through Serbia’s capital Belgrade and in Montenegro’s capital Podgorica.

Mexico

Hundreds of mainly young demonstrators marched through Mexico City, chanting “political change, not climate change!”

That was an apparent reference to President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s push to increase production and processing of fossil fuels.

The mainly youthful crowd at Friday’s protest suggested young people were taking the lead on the issue.

High school student Maria Martinez carried a sign that read: “You’ll die of old age; I’ll die of climate change.”

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