Global climate strike: Protests erupt around globe for second week running

Italy's education minister says children missing school for climate strikes are 'justified'

Conrad Duncan
Friday 27 September 2019 13:47
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Tens of thousands of young people have marched to New Zealand’s parliament as the second wave of global protests demanding swift action on climate change began on Friday.

The latest round of protests is set to see demonstrations across Asia and Europe before culminating in a rally in Montreal, Canada, where teenage activist Greta Thunberg is scheduled to speak.

The march in New Zealand’s capital of Wellington earlier on Friday was one of the largest protests ever held there, forcing organisers to change their security plans to accommodate the swelling crowd.

Local media estimated the crowd in the capital was about 40,000 people, while thousands more protesters also marched in Auckland and others parts of the country.

In Italy, the country’s education minister has urged schools to consider absences by children taking part in climate strikes as “justified”.

Lorenzo Fioramonti said the protests were “essential” to save the planet from “environmental devastation and an economic concept of unsustainable development.”

He added: “The most essential good is at stake, that is to learn to take care of our world."

Several million people took part in the global climate strike last Friday, which coincided with Greta’s appearance at a United Nations summit.

New Zealand and a number of other countries have focused their protest efforts on this Friday to bookend a week in which demands for climate action have received global attention.

“Nothing else will matter if we cannot look after the Earth for current and future generations. This is our home,” School Strike 4 Climate NZ said in a statement.

Katherine Rivers, a university student in Wellington, said it was great to see young people taking personal responsibility by marching.

“We need to stop pandering to some of the people who are making money off climate change. The big oil companies, the dairy industry etc," she said.

Tens of thousands of protesters also rallied in Rome, Italy, holding up signs with slogans such as “change the system, not the climate.”

In Germany, activists from the Fridays for Future group are planning to protest a package that has been recently agreed by the government to cut the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The proposals fall far short of what is needed for the country, which is the world’s sixth biggest greenhouse gas emitter, to meet the goal of the 2015 Paris climate agreement, according to experts.

Climate protests were also reported in Finland, India, South Korea and Spain on Friday.

Agencies contributed to this report

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