From the Pacific Islands to New Zealand, Australia and Thailand, hundreds of thousands of protesters, many of them school students, have gathered in towns and cities across the Asia Pacific region, kicking off a day of worldwide protests calling for action against climate change ahead of a United Nations summit.
Protesters are demanding their governments take urgent steps to tackle the climate crisis and prevent an environmental catastrophe.
Organizers estimated 300,000 people turned up for the “global climate strike” in Australia, the world’s largest exporter of coal and liquid natural gas.
Protests were staged in 110 towns and cities across the country, with crowds calling on the government to commit to a target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.
Greta Thernburg, the 16-year-old Swede who inspired the climate strike, in her support tweeted;
“Incredible pictures as Australia’s
gathering for the #climatestrike
this is the huge crowd building up in Sydney.
Australia is setting the standard!
Its bedtime in New York…so please share as many pictures as you can as the strikes move across Asia to Europe and Africa! — Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg)”
Protests are planned in some 150 countries on Friday and will culminate in New York when Thunberg, who has been nominated for a Nobel prize for her activism on climate change, leads the march in the city where the United Nations has its headquarters.
The UN Climate Action Summit brings together world leaders to discuss climate change mitigation strategies, including the move from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.