Student climate strikes go global

Student climate strikes go global

'If you don't act like adults, we will'

Thousands of students walked out of class in Sydney, kicking off global protests on Friday. They got the attention they wanted. Some Australian politicians hit back with criticism. "For action on issues that they think is important, they should do that after school or on weekends," said Education Minister Dan Tehan.

Student climate strikes go global

Students bring grown-ups into line

Protesters in New Zealand invited adults to join the march. "If we go on strike on a school day, then they'll notice and they might want to do something," said 14-year-old student Inese, who didn't want to give her full name. And her prime minister is listening. Jacinda Ardern supports the strikes and has pledged NZ$100 million (€60 million/$68 million) to cut greenhouse gases.

Student climate strikes go global

Truth to power

The movement has snowballed since 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg began skipping school to protest in front of parliament last August. On March 15, her protest spread from Vanuatu to Hong Kong (pictured here), Tashkent to Madagascar. In Thailand, one of the world's top plastic polluters, students campaigned against single-use plastics.

Student climate strikes go global

Seoul to Singapore

From Seoul to Singapore, each city's students spoke out in their own way. Here in South Korea, 100 students held signs saying "Too warm 4 school" and "Don't deny climate change." In Singapore, strict laws regulate public assembly so young people planned a virtual campaign on social media.

Student climate strikes go global

'To educate adults'

In India, protests were seen in 36 different cities, including New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore. Students in New Delhi chanted slogans demanding the Indian government stop using coal and act against climate change and air pollution.

Student climate strikes go global

Berlin takes matters into its own hands

While German Chancellor Angela Merkel has supported the movement, some German students are still afraid to skip school. But not all. Protests were planned for 200 cities across the country. In the German capital, the crowds were huge by midday.

Student climate strikes go global

Braving the storm

In the western German city of Cologne, students braved the wet weather. Massive storms have recently battered that part of the country, though they only appeared to fan the flames of the students' protest.

Student climate strikes go global

Swedish inspiration

Greta Thunberg (center) led one of the many protests in Sweden. She said she was excited that protests had spread to 2,052 places in 123 countries. Asked if adults should strike too, she replied: "It's up to them, if they want their kids to have a future."

Student climate strikes go global

'Denial is not a policy'

Students in South African cities, including Cape Town and Pretoria, joined in the school strike. Africa, with more than 1 billion people, is expected to be hardest hit by global warming even though it contributes the least to greenhouse gas emissions.

Student climate strikes go global

Strike across the US

Strikes were held by students in cities across the country, including New York, Washington, Chicago, Portland, Oregon and St. Paul, Minnesota. In June 2017, US President Donald Trump announced that the US was withdrawing from the 2015 Paris agreement on mitigating climate change.

Student climate strikes go global

Guterres: 'My generation has failed'

Montreal drew among the largest crowds, estimated by organizers at nearly 150,000. The global movement saw a response from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who said he was inspired by the climate strikers to call a special summit in September to deal with "the climate emergency."

In some 2,000 demonstrations in 123 countries, more than 1 million students marched through the streets from the South Pacific to the edge of the Arctic Circle. Their aim: to push world leaders to act on climate change.

"The oceans are rising and so are we," read one placard in Sydney, Australia. Organizers estimate 2,052 demonstrations were planned in 123 countries across all continents, including Antarctica.

Sixteen-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, who kicked off the movement last year, lay down a simple challenge: "What will you do on March 15, 2019?"