Inspired by Greta Thunberg, global climate activists take to the streets again

BERLIN, Germany – Climate activists allied with Swedish teenage activist Greta Thunberg were protesting in some 70 countries on Friday to demand global action ahead of a key UK summit.

“There are natural disasters all over the world,” said Quang Paasch, 21, alongside thousands of other protesters outside Germany’s parliament, the Bundestag. “We are frustrated and angry. We need structural change, a social plan and actions based on scientific evidence. “

The protests organized by Fridays for Future, inspired by Thunberg, will be the first such mass action since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

In Germany, activists’ calls took on renewed urgency after heavy rains in July that killed at least 180 people and devastated cities in Western Europe. Global warming has made these types of events between 1.2 and 9 times more likely, according to a study by the World Weather Attribution initiative, which assesses the role of climate change following extreme weather events.

Climate activist Greta Thunberg joins a large-scale climate strike in Berlin on Friday.Sean Gallup / Getty Images

The climate crisis prompted 21-year-old Henning Jeschke to declare a hunger strike three weeks ago.

“Nothing was done,” he told NBC News in a makeshift camp near the protest, two days before the German federal election. “We want leading politicians to publicly declare that Germany is in a climate emergency.”

Awareness of the climate crisis in Germany is higher than ever, with young protesters hoping to pressure candidates to discuss the urgent issue with them.

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Thunberg also joined Friday’s protests in Berlin and planned to address protesters outside the Bundestag.

The protests took place five weeks ahead of the UN COP26 summit, which was touted as the last chance for world leaders to pledge to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions – vital to preventing the harsh effects. most disastrous of global warming.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Tuesday the world was “apparently light years” away from meeting climate targets.

Emissions were to be reduced by 45% by 2030, Guterres said, but current national trends are that emissions are expected to increase by 16%.

Activists demonstrate in New Delhi, India on Friday.Manish Swarup / AP

Elsewhere, Disha Ravi, the Indian climate activist who has become a symbol of the national crackdown on dissent during mass farmer protests, will demonstrate in the southern town of Bengaluru on Friday, she said. wrote on Twitter. Protests also took place in New Delhi, the country’s capital.

In the Philippines, dozens of protesters gathered in the capital Manila, according to the Fridays of the future. In Japan, several demonstrators held signs and slogans support the movement. In the New Zealand capital, Wellington has also joined in the strike calls, with Fridays for Future sharing a video of the protests on Twitter.

Also on Friday, Paralympian gold medalist James Brown was sentenced to 12 months in prison by a London court judge after being found guilty of public nuisance for climbing to the top of a plane at London Airport. London City during an Extinction Rebellion climate protest in 2019, the organization said in a statement.

Andy Eckardt reported from Berlin, Rhea Mogul reported from Hong Kong.

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