Global Climate Strike: Students around the world protest climate inaction

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Por: Nicolas Lobatón González

Global Climate Strike: Students around the world protest climate inaction

Watch students perform Haka dance at protest in New Zealand

From CNN's Christina Zdanowicz

Students from Nelson College in Nelson, New Zealand, performed a Haka dance during a massive climate change protest.

“The students behind them are from Nelson College for Girls, Nayland College, Waimea College, Broadgreen Intermediate and more,” freelance journalist Naomi Arnold said.

Here's why these young climate activists are striking

Young climate activists are hoping to spark a widespread dialogue about climate change, following in the footsteps of their peers in Parkland, Florida, who led a national conversation about gun control after a mass shooting at their school.

And they're concerned about the inaction on this front.

World leaders only have 11 more years to avoid disastrous levels of global warming, according to a 2018 report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

If human-generated greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current rate, the planet will reach 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels as soon as 2030. That threshold is critical.

Global warming at that temperature would put the planet at a greater risk of events like extreme drought, wildfires, floods and food shortages for hundreds of millions of people, according to the IPCC report.

What they want: The common demand among students, although they vary country-to-country, is for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Here's what that agenda includes for kids in the US, according to the Youth Climate Strike website:

  • a national embrace of the Green New Deal
  • an end to fossil fuel infrastructure projects
  • a national emergency declaration on climate change
  • mandatory education on climate change and its effects from K-8
  • a clean water supply
  • preservation of public lands and wildlife
  • all government decisions to be tied to scientific research

Students rally at US Capitol and chant "Change is coming"

Students in the US gathered near the Capitol in Washington, DC, carrying signs that read, "Change is coming," and chanting, "What do we want? Climate action! When do we want it? Now!"

"Today, the tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of kids who are striking around the world are doing it not because we want to skip school, but because we are scared," 12-year-old Haven Coleman, co-founder and co-director of the US Youth Climate Strike, said at a news conference in the country's capital.

"Climate change is the largest threat to our lives, our future and our world," she said.

Other strikes were planned in nearly all 50 states.

Thousands of strikers gather in European capitals

By CNN's Isabelle Gerretsen

European capital cities have attracted huge crowds of strikers today, as shown in these pictures shared by the European Green Party:View image on Twitter

"India is already suffering from climate change"

By CNN's Isabelle Gerretsen

In cities across India, school students joined climate strikes.

Vidit Baya, head of the Fridays for Future movement in India, tells CNN that India is already suffering from the impacts of climate change.

"In 2018, severe floods affected the coastal state of Kerala killing hundreds and injuring thousands. It is suspected that a 2 degrees Celsius rise in world’s temperature will make India’s monsoon ever more unpredictable," he says.

"Rising sea levels will impact agriculture and degrade groundwater quality," according to Baya.

Watch student protesters in India:

"Drought and extreme weather will destroy our economy"

By CNN's Isabelle Gerretsen

In Tel Aviv, hundreds of students have gathered to protest what they say is the Israeli government's failure to cut emissions and switch to renewable energy sources.

"We fear that drought and extreme weather conditions will destroy our economy because when temperature rises the need for water will increase and also the lack (of) water multiplies. Low income families will struggle to pay for water," Michael Bäcklund, one of the strike's main organizers, tells CNN.

Michael Bäcklund global outreach director of the Fridays for Future (FFF) climate movement in Israel. Michael BäcklundMichael Bäcklund

Luxembourg: "Governments of the world have to wake up"

By CNN's Mark Tutton

Thousands of young people have gathered in Luxembourg City, singing, dancing and listening to speeches.

“We strike to express our dissatisfaction with current large-scale inaction on climate change,” says Zelie Guisset, from Youth for Climate Luxembourg.

“To show we are gravely concerned about the world we will live our future lives in. To demand that treating the climate crisis as the crisis it is. Hoping that our strike will urge and pressure politicians or other people in power to take the urgent action needed to solve this climate crisis.

“Thirty years of ‘small individual acts’ and ‘everyone does their bit’ has not worked. Governments of the world have to wake up."

Mayors support striking students

By CNN's Isabelle Gerretsen

Mayors around the world have expressed their support for the student protests.

“It is heartening to see our young people taking a stand and reminding us that it is their generation who will be left to face the worst effects of climate change if we don't act quickly to cut carbon emissions,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement.

“It is truly inspiring to see young people demanding urgent climate action. It is our responsibility as adults and political leaders, to learn from you and deliver the future you want and the future you can trust in,” said Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, who joined the march in Paris.

Italy inspired by Greta

By CNN's Mark Tutton

In Rome, posing in a front of a banner that says "There is no planet B," Emilio Zanzibar, 17, is worried for animals' future as well as humans.

On the right, Pietro Rossi, 16, is one of the many protesters today who are inspired by Great Thunberg. "Greta's courage to stand all alone at the beginning has been of real inspiration for all," he says.

Pictured below, climate activists gather at the monument to Vittorio Emanuele II, Rome.

The climate activism isn't confined to Rome. In Pisa, protester Martina Cocchi says: "In my region climate change is eroding coast areas."

She adds: "I hope with this protest to raise awareness. Together we can influence more and more people everyday and get the attention of the people in power."

"I've even striked in the polar vortex"

By CNN's Isabelle Gerretsen

When she was just eight years old, Alexandria Villasenor first became aware of the devastating impacts of climate change. A prolonged drought in 2013 caused the lake in her hometown Folsom, California, to completely dry up.

She was once again confronted by the threat of climate change when mass wildfires broke out in Paradise, California, last summer.

"I started to realize (these events) aren't normal and that they are linked to climate change," she tells CNN.

Every Friday, Villasenor strikes against global climate inaction outside the United Nations headquarters. "I sit there until I'm numb. I've even striked in the polar vortex."

"I'm upset with how world leaders are treating the climate crisis. [The youth] need to make sure that people in power start taking action because we don't have time to wait until we can," she says

People power in Scotland

By CNN's Mark Tutton

In Glasgow, young people people are singing "power to the people," and declaring a "climate emergency."

"We need climate action," urge Nigerian children

By CNN's Tom Page

Nigerian climate activist Oladosu Adenike says "Our earth is on fire" and shares videos on social media of young protesters telling the world "our future matters."

An update from Greta in Stockholm

By CNN's Tom Page

Greta Thunberg, who has galvanized many into joining these protests today, says over 10,000 students have flooded the event in Sweden's capital, and police are stopping people from coming closer to the stage. "We need bigger venues," Thunberg adds.

"School can wait but climate change won’t"

By CNN's Isabelle Gerretsen

Eleven-year-old Atlas Sarrafoglu has organized a climate strike in a park in Istanbul, Turkey, CNN's Murat Baykara reports.

"School can wait but climate change won’t. Due to climate change, floods or even tornadoes are more common now. Due to heat there is no water left in the dams. This is what you have created," Sarrafoglu tells the crowd.

You burned the coal that causes climate change. It was you adults who cut the trees and destroy our forests," he says.

"We want you to panic!"

By CNN's Tom Page

In Madrid, Spain marchers say "not another degree"...

123 countries now involved in the climate strike

By CNN's Tom Page

Over 2,000 events are planned across 123 countries today. Every continent is involved -- including Antarctica. It's nearly impossible to keep on top of every march here on this live blog, but we're doing our best!

Take a look at the map below to see which countries are taking part. We'll endeavor to keep it up to date throughout the day.

Greta Thunberg, climate-strike inspiration: "We are protesting until they do something"

By CNN's Mark Tutton

Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist who has inspired student strikes worldwide, joins protesters in Stockholm, Sweden, where she has been staging weekly sit-ins outside parliament.

She urges other young protesters: “I think we should continue until they do something. This is not a one-time thing."

“We are not just protesting to let them see that we care, we are protesting until they do something. We are going to put pressure on them and just keep on going," she tells CNN’s Atika Shubert, adding that we have yet to see meaningful action on tackling climate change.

“The most important thing to look at is if emissions are increasing or reducing -- and they’re increasing.”

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