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Global climate strike: Greta Thunberg and school students lead climate crisis protest – live updates Global climate strike: Greta Thunberg and school students lead climate crisis protest – live updates
(32 minutes later)
Even Emmeline Pankhurst has joined in the protests in Manchester. A statue of the suffragette hero has donned a bright orange lifejacket and a placard that asks: “Ready for rising sea levels to reach this height?”The stunt was the idea of Katie Bradshaw and Ryan Griffiths, both 31, who described themselves as first-protestors who felt the need to act today.“Emmeline still carries that Mancunian spirit of standing up for what she believes in and great causes,” said Griffiths. “Climate change is so important and we think it’s something herself would be an issue she would be at the forefront of if she were around today.”Bradshaw added: “We’ve got to do our bit and even if it’s just putting some signs up and making people realise we need to look after our planet. If she was around today she’d be supporting it.” Sadiq Khan is not the only mayor who has come out strongly behind today’s strikes.
The leaders of Paris, New York City, Los Angeles and Copenhagen released a strongly worded joint statement overnight.
Our shared planet is facing a climate emergency. The science is clear that, without urgent action, sea levels will rise further, extreme temperatures will become the norm and climate-related disasters will inflict even greater damage. We are making historic investments to prepare and adapt our cities to the inevitable consequences of emissions already released into the atmosphere.
When your house is on fire, somebody needs to sound the alarm. Young people in our cities, displaying incredible maturity and dignity are doing just that. School children are taking to the streets, drawing attention to the terrifying threat that climate breakdown poses to their future. Young people recognise just how unfair climate change is. Those who have generated the least greenhouse gas emissions, including the poorest, most disadvantaged and youngest in society, will suffer the worst effects of a rapidly changing global climate. They are right to sound the alarm, and they are right to demand action that tackles climate change and inequality simultaneously.
On September 20, these inspiring young leaders have called for adults to join them for a Global Climate Strike. We have an opportunity to show, not only that we hear their message, but that they have inspired us to act even faster.
As mayors, our greatest responsibility is to protect the lives and wellbeing of those that live in our cities. As adults, our obligation is to leave the world in a better state for our children than we inherited it. Fortunately, the evidence is increasingly clear that transforming our cities to prevent the climate crisis will also make them healthier, more equitable, safer and ultimately better places to live. The cities of the future will enjoy affordable and reliable public transport; the air will be free from poisonous toxins; buildings will generate zero emissions thanks to ultra-high efficient heating, cooling and insulation; waste will be recycled or reused, and all of this will be powered by abundant renewable energy. We have a unique opportunity to bestow a bright and hopeful legacy to the next generation. This is the future we want.
That is why we are supporting the Global Climate Strikes. Mayors around the world, working through C40 Cities, are committed to deliver on the Paris Agreement and taking action to peak their emissions as our cities already have and bring them down sharply by 2030. Many businesses, investors, labour groups, faith leaders and local communities share our urgency. But we cannot tackle the climate crisis alone. We need science-based action from every sector of the economy, and we expect greater leadership from nation states. Young people are telling us that the climate emergency demands an emergency response. We couldn’t agree more.
It was signed by the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, as well as the mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, and the lord mayor of Copenhagen, Frank Jensen.
Lovely thread by Mary Hamilton on what to do if you cannot make the strikes today but still want to make an effort to reduce your waste.
So for a little while I've been trying to reduce the amount of waste I produce, especially plastic, and of the various things I've tried there are two that make me happiest:1) milk delivery 2) wormery
All of which is also by way of saying that if you - like me -can't #climatestrike today for whatever reason, there are other things you can do to join in. Not everyone can do worms or milk delivery obvs. Would love to hear more ideas.
Useful links! Find a milk delivery service in your area: https://t.co/qCl1iG1iUVComposting/wormeries: https://t.co/IMTdcZ8YBp works with some local councils, but usually easier to google [your local council] + "wormery" as each council seems to have its own scheme
Greater Manchester mayor @AndyBurnhamGM addresses climate protest: “My generation has failed you - and I include myself in that”. Loud cheer greets his declaration that “fracking is the past - it does not belong in the future.” pic.twitter.com/QeQqrUpAE4
Ruby, 10, and Dougie, 7, (pictured below), were the first to start striking outside the Scottish parliament, back on a cold dark 11 January. Back then it was just them and the police. Seeing how big the movement has become, Ruby says she feels “happy and proud”. “Amazing,” says Dougie.
Staff at the Guardian will be striking today at noon, so there will be no posts on the live blog between 12:00 BST and 12:30 BST.
The fashion industry is a fossil-fuel-guzzling operation, as many of our clothes are made from petroleum-based textiles such as polyester. Even natural fibres such as cotton have a huge carbon footprint and require a large portion of the world’s pesticides.
In a bid to solve this disastrous environmental equation, scientists and designers are creating completely new textiles from fast-growing, carbon-sucking organisms such as micro- and macro-algae, mycelium (elements of fungus), bacteria and fermented yeast. These new biotechnologies efficiently convert sunlight and CO2 into mass raw materials, suck carbon out of the atmosphere and pave the way to a carbon-negative wardrobe.
Tens of thousands of young people and adults are already streaming into the streets around Westminster in central London, and organisers say the protest, which was formally due to start at 11am, already dwarfs previous school strike demonstrations.
Among those gathered in the sunshine were a group of medics. Isobel Braithwaite, a public health doctor from London, said they were there because the climate crisis was also a health crisis: “From heatwaves to floods; food shortages to devastating storms, these things are having a huge impact on health now and it is going to get worse.”
She said it was time adults listened to young people who had taken the lead in addressing this crisis. “We need urgent widespread action and it must happen quickly... we are running out of time.”
Medics join tens of thousands of climate strikers in London. “The climate crisis is a health crisis... we are running out of time.” pic.twitter.com/pDXL7jF9OP
Glorious scenes in Edinburgh as thousands of children, parents, students and musicians gather at the Meadows for the Climate Strike. “This is our Earth and our future. We need to take care of it,” said 11-year-old Leila Koita, pictured here with friends Eilidh Tedesco, Norah Turner, Tilly Torrie, Megan Berger and Nan Zhang. Norah’s mum, Jo Spencely, says she hasn’t been on a demo for decades but she is here to show support. “I’m massively concerned about their future. I almost can’t bear to read about the climate. It’s so scary.”The march sets off at 11:30am and will pass through Edinburgh city centre and end with a rally in front of the Scottish parliament. As in London, police have imposed restrictions, in this case by refusing permission for the marchers to walk down Princes Street. As elsewhere, this is just the start of a week of climate action. On Saturday, activists will stage a “die in”, Monday will be a “day of disruption”, musicians will join a “Love the Planet festival” on Wednesday, and there’ll be another rally outside parliament the following day.
Even Emmeline Pankhurst has joined in the protests in Manchester. A statue of the suffragette hero has donned a bright orange lifejacket and has a placard that asks: “Ready for rising sea levels to reach this height?”The stunt was the idea of Katie Bradshaw and Ryan Griffiths, both 31, who described themselves as first-protesters who felt the need to act today.“Emmeline still carries that Mancunian spirit of standing up for what she believes in and great causes,” said Griffiths. “Climate change is so important and we think it’s an issue she would be at the forefront of if she were around today.”Bradshaw added: “We’ve got to do our bit, even if it’s just putting some signs up and making people realise we need to look after our planet. If she was around today she’d be supporting it.”
Emmeline Pankhurst showing the world the way in Manchester pic.twitter.com/Z1TFjYCAuNEmmeline Pankhurst showing the world the way in Manchester pic.twitter.com/Z1TFjYCAuN
Friends of the Earth, an international network of environmental organisations in 74 countries, is calling on people across Britain to join young people in striking against climate change.Friends of the Earth, an international network of environmental organisations in 74 countries, is calling on people across Britain to join young people in striking against climate change.
Muna Suleiman, a Friends of the Earth campaigner, said:Muna Suleiman, a Friends of the Earth campaigner, said:
Most of us want to fix the climate crisis. And it can be done. But we need our politicians to act. Climate breakdown is already hurting people around the world, with many of those who have contributed least to the crisis being subjected to the harshest impacts.Most of us want to fix the climate crisis. And it can be done. But we need our politicians to act. Climate breakdown is already hurting people around the world, with many of those who have contributed least to the crisis being subjected to the harshest impacts.
“And right when we need our leaders to step up, they continue to let us down. From filling the skies with more planes, to backing fracking in the UK and funding oil and gas projects abroad.“And right when we need our leaders to step up, they continue to let us down. From filling the skies with more planes, to backing fracking in the UK and funding oil and gas projects abroad.
“That’s why we’re standing shoulder to shoulder with young people to call on our politicians to deliver emergency climate action now. And we’re asking everyone to join us.”“That’s why we’re standing shoulder to shoulder with young people to call on our politicians to deliver emergency climate action now. And we’re asking everyone to join us.”
Bob Dylan’s Blowin’ in the Wind kicks off Berlin’s “Klimastreik” to huge cheers from the thousands gathered, although no official estimates of the numbers attending are available yet.Contender for banner of the day is: ‘Grandpa what is a snowman?’ Hundreds of people are streaming through the portals of the Brandenburg Gate, through the Tiergarten Park and from every direction onto Platz des 18. März.Bob Dylan’s Blowin’ in the Wind kicks off Berlin’s “Klimastreik” to huge cheers from the thousands gathered, although no official estimates of the numbers attending are available yet.Contender for banner of the day is: ‘Grandpa what is a snowman?’ Hundreds of people are streaming through the portals of the Brandenburg Gate, through the Tiergarten Park and from every direction onto Platz des 18. März.
Lots of Berlin’s young are here with the blessing of their parents and teachers, though many have defied their schools to be here.Lots of Berlin’s young are here with the blessing of their parents and teachers, though many have defied their schools to be here.
At 1pm, the student strikers are planning to let off alarm clocks across the UK, and are encouraging businesses to set off their fire alarms at the same time in support. Jake Woodier, the campaign co-ordinator at UK Student Climate Network, said: “Young people across the world have taken the lead in highlighting the need for urgent climate action over the past year. “They are calling for adults to join them for the global climate strike, just three days before the UN climate action summit to pressure our governments to act to tackle the climate crisis. “Raise the Alarm will help draw attention to the climate emergency in workplaces across the breadth of the UK,” Woodier said.At 1pm, the student strikers are planning to let off alarm clocks across the UK, and are encouraging businesses to set off their fire alarms at the same time in support. Jake Woodier, the campaign co-ordinator at UK Student Climate Network, said: “Young people across the world have taken the lead in highlighting the need for urgent climate action over the past year. “They are calling for adults to join them for the global climate strike, just three days before the UN climate action summit to pressure our governments to act to tackle the climate crisis. “Raise the Alarm will help draw attention to the climate emergency in workplaces across the breadth of the UK,” Woodier said.
Students at Torquay Girls’ Grammar school have made a video about climate change.Students at Torquay Girls’ Grammar school have made a video about climate change.
What’s the carbon footprint of my trip?What’s the carbon footprint of my trip?
The square outside Manchester’s grand central library has been taken over by a sea of people carrying homemade placards and chanting. Hundreds of those gathered sang “Whose planet? Our planet!” with scores of children among the protesters. Nellie Jacobs, 10, and her mother Helen said they were motivated to take part in the global climate strike after their hometown Whaley Bridge was evacuated earlier this month when it was deluged with months-worth of rain in a short period, causing a dam to burst and dozens of properties to flood.The square outside Manchester’s grand central library has been taken over by a sea of people carrying homemade placards and chanting. Hundreds of those gathered sang “Whose planet? Our planet!” with scores of children among the protesters. Nellie Jacobs, 10, and her mother Helen said they were motivated to take part in the global climate strike after their hometown Whaley Bridge was evacuated earlier this month when it was deluged with months-worth of rain in a short period, causing a dam to burst and dozens of properties to flood.
Nellie Jacobs, 10, and her mum Helen felt compelled to be at the climate strike in Manchester after the serious flooding in their hometown Whaley Bridge this month pic.twitter.com/sNjlmRcXKbNellie Jacobs, 10, and her mum Helen felt compelled to be at the climate strike in Manchester after the serious flooding in their hometown Whaley Bridge this month pic.twitter.com/sNjlmRcXKb
Nice cartoon just in from reader Jesse Leonard. You get the picture, literally. Possibly the first time the climate crisis has been likened to a purple piano, but why not?Nice cartoon just in from reader Jesse Leonard. You get the picture, literally. Possibly the first time the climate crisis has been likened to a purple piano, but why not?
If there are any other artists out there with climate emergency sketches/drawings/cartoons, send them in via this link.If there are any other artists out there with climate emergency sketches/drawings/cartoons, send them in via this link.
The Kichwa tribe in the Sarayaku region of the Amazon in Ecuador believe in the “living forest”, where humans, animals and plants live in harmony. They are fighting oil companies who want to exploit their ancestral land. A delegation of indigenous people are at the Paris COP21 climate conference to make sure their voices are heard. Can they win their battle?
Tweeting a photo from a climate strike, the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, said:
Young people here and across the world are making it impossible to ignore the environment and climate emergency.This is the wonderful youth #ClimateStrike in my constituency - now I'm on my way to the main London demonstration. pic.twitter.com/GI1AniUnpb
Kate Connolly, the Guardian and Observer’s Berlin correspondent, has been out this morning in the German capital.
Crowds gathering now at Brandenburg Gate. Lots of kids who are missing school, some with teachers’ blessing, many without pic.twitter.com/zcvOhYMM9U
Climate activist Robin Wood performing the most precarious feat of the day so far by hanging over the A100 Berlin motorway under the banner “clean cars - a pure lie” https://t.co/JbWxaIu0II
Strikes are planned for at least seven Nigerian cities, such as Lagos, which is clogged by mountains of toxic waste including thousands of tons of e-waste from the EU, particularly the UK and Germany. There will be a protest in Port Harcourt, capital of the country’s oil-producing region, whose residents and their possessions have been covered in soot for the past few years, believed to be the result of destroying illegal oil refineries.
There will also be two protests against a proposed coal plant in San Pedro in Ivory Coast, while in Ghana, a group called Young Reporters for the Environment is leading a march from the city hall of the capital, Accra.
Next Friday, there will be a demonstration in Kumasi, the capital of Ghana’s Ashanti region. Ghana is losing its rainforests faster than any other country, with a 60% increase in primary forest loss from 2017 to 2018.
In Senegal, there are marches in Rufisque and Thies this Friday, a climate camp in Kaolack on Sunday, followed by a demonstration against a new coal plant in Bargny, and a march in the capital, Dakar on the 27th. Air pollution in Dakar is causing more and more respiratory problems, in large part because of “dirty”, sulphur-laden diesel.
Environmental activists Greta Thunberg and George Monbiot have helped produce a short film highlighting the need to protect, restore and use nature to tackle the climate crisis.
Berlin’s main transport line, the S-Bahn, has virtually ground to a halt this morning due to a major engineering breakdown leaving many protesters stranded and unable to reach the protest. Participants are being encouraged to take their bikes instead. Many have pointed out the irony.
Meanwhile, at the Brandenburg Gate, scene of the main protest in Berlin that is due to kick off just before noon, protesters have been organised into neat blocks.
Apart from the huge crowds of protesters, the other uplifting piece of climate news today is that onshore wind has just became the cheapest source of energy in the UK. Industry analysts can’t believe how quickly the price has fallen. This shows the transition away from fossil fuels is much more affordable than people dared hope five years ago. On the business side of things, also encouraging to note efforts by companies with a green reputation, who seem to be competing to do more by selling less. The Patagonia outdoor clothing store will close all its European outlets today and next Friday so staff can join the protests. Ben & Jerry’s and Lush also shutting today. Burton, the winter sports chain, is giving workers a paid day off to join the strike and have halted online sales for 24 hours. The company’s webpage today reads “Closed for business. Open for action. Let’s protect our playground.”
In London, where big crowds are expected to gather near Westminster from 11am, the London mayor, Sadiq Khan, has thrown his weight behind today’s strikes.
He told the Guardian this morning he fully supports schools across the city who are “working with pupils and allowing them time, without sanction, to peacefully and lawfully join the strikes today”.“It is unbelievable that we need strike action for the future of our planet to be taken seriously by government’s around the world,” he said.
“I fully support the thousands of young people peacefully and lawfully protesting around the country today who feel so strongly about the climate change emergency and I share their frustration. The stark reality is we are running out of time for meaningful change. The climate crisis is one of the very biggest challenges we face – I have declared a climate emergency in London – and governments around the world are failing to take the action we need.”
Berlin has kicked off its Fridays For Future this morning with road blockades, cycle rallies and a demonstration in front of the cuboidchancellery of Angela Merkel, where about 40 young people have unfurled a banner asking: “Return of the climate chancellor?”
It’s an appeal to Merkel, once environment minister, to live up to the reputation she is seen to have squandered over everything from her support of the car industry to her refusal to back a phase-out of brown coal mining.
They are keen to pressurise her coalition government ahead of the launch of its much-awaited package of climate emergency measures which the cabinet has spent the night negotiating and is due to launch early this afternoon. The protesters are chanting: ”Wir sind hier, wir sind laut, weil Ihr uns die Zukunft raubt.“ –“We are here and we are loud, because you’re stealing our future”.The main protest at the Brandenburg Gate is due to start just before noon.
When there is protest in Berlin, there is usually also techno, and from 3pm a “Rave Rebellion” march will depart from Potsdamer Platz square, under the motto “No Future No Dancefloor”. Extinction Rebellion has announced plans to block traffic at strategic points “where it will hurt drivers” around the capital.
Elsewhere, 400 protests have been announced across the country, which will likely attracts adults as well as children. An umbrella organisation that includes organisations such as “Psychologists for Future”, “Entrepreneurs for Future” and “Grandparents for Future” has called for people to join in, as has the services union Verdi and the German Protestant Church. “We stand side by side with Fridays for Future”, said Annette Kurschus, the president of the Protestant Church of Westphalia, “Planet Earth does not belong to us, it has only been entrusted in our care”.
Germany has two faces when it comes to the environment: the country that prides itself in its high recycling rates, phasing out nuclear power and pioneering renewable energies is still the world’s sixth biggest pollutant, with 865m tonnes of CO2 emissions in 2018.
Borne out of this realisation, much of the recent debate in the country has focused on the phase-out of the country’s approximately 130 smoke-belching coal plants. The government wants to close them down by 2038 – too soon for many unions, especially in the coal-rich east, and too late for climate activists galvanised by Fridays for Future. In Europe’s “car nation”, air pollution through exhaust fumes is another contentious issue, with some cities having introduced driving bans for diesel cars last year.
The Fridays for Future protests have had a tangible effect on the political climate, with several polls earlier this year showing the Green party emerging as the strongest political force in the country. Many other parties have tried to copy its message, with even the arch-conservative Bavarian Christian Social Union calling for a coal phase-out by 2030, bans on plastic bags and new wind farms. Angela Merkel’s coalition government is expected to announce a plan for tackling climate change, rumoured to involve €75bn of investment by 2030, just in time for Friday’s climate strike.