This article is from the source 'guardian' and was first published or seen on . The next check for changes will be

You can find the current article at its original source at https://www.theguardian.com/environment/live/2019/sep/20/climate-strike-global-change-protest-sydney-melbourne-london-new-york-nyc-school-student-protest-greta-thunberg-rally-live-news-latest-updates

The article has changed 36 times. There is an RSS feed of changes available.

Version 16 Version 17
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
(31 minutes later)
The Bishop of Wolverhampton, Clive Gregory, has asked all clergy members and lay employees within the Dioceses of Lichfield to set aside their usual duties today to focus instead on Climate Action activities.
Gregory led a special service at Lichfield Cathedral to raise awareness about the climate crisis. Around 550 pupils and teachers from five West Midlands primary schools attended.
Children from St Michael’s CE primary school in Lichfield arrived holding handmade signs and chanting “save our world”.
My colleague, Ben Quinn, is in Westminster where climate strikers are heading towards Downing Street, but there is also a counter-demonstration by Jeremy Corbyn’s brother, and famed climate change denier, Piers.
In London #ClimateStrike crowd is moving in direction of N10.. cheers as thin yellow line of police move off in front pic.twitter.com/rLuKjAnhuu
Piers Corbyn on a megaphone leading a small group of people in Westminster against the #ClimateStrike pic.twitter.com/FjJvg3KpPi
The German government today announced a new climate protection package costing €50bn, which was immediately criticised as lacking ambition by Fridays for Future protesters.At a press conference in central Berlin, the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, said that as a scientist she had been impressed by Greta Thunberg’s motto “unite behind the science”.Following a marathon negotiation session, Merkel’s conservatives and her Social Democrat coalition partner detailed plans for increased purchase premiers for electric cars, and new taxes for traditional cars with emissions over 115mg. The measures include a ban on installing oil-fired heating in buildings from 2025, with a subsidy for householders prepared to switch to more climate-friendly alternatives.A price for emissions of carbon dioxide has also been agreed that will take effect via trading in emissions certificates. The package also includes new investment in rail networks, and promises of reduced fares.In a tweet, Fridays for Future criticised the plans:
Dear government: if you spend years doing nothing for climate protection and then, after months of massive public pressure, discuss measures that have nothing to do with [the plan to halt global warming at] 1.5C, then that’s not a ‘breakthrough’ but a scandal.
You can see some of the best pictures of the day here:
Global climate strike: millions protest worldwide – in pictures
Thanks for the excellent questions, which have ranged from science and politics to a plea from a deskbound worker – hang in there! – and thanks to you all for taking part in the debate over climate issues and solutions.
Today’s climate strikes have sent a message round the world that will be heard in the highest echelons of politics and business, but which have also helped to spur public engagement with the solutions to the crisis that will be needed if we are to make the vast changes we must to avoid the worst ravages of climate chaos.
On a personal note, today is almost exactly 15 years since I started writing full-time about the climate crisis, and related environmental issues, and although progress in that time has been grindingly slow in many ways, it has also been marked by sudden leaps forward. Improving public understanding and engagement is at the heart of making a better future.
The messages from today are clear. This is not somebody else’s problem: it is ours. This is not a problem for the future: it is now. This is not an inevitable catastrophe: we can still make things much better.
A noisy and good natured protest is being held in Bedford, with a few hundred protesters, including one dressed as a giant dinosaur, marching along the High Street at lunchtime shouting “what do we want, climate justice”, “no planet B” and “this is what democracy looks like”.
The protest is being led by children from local schools, clearly drawing their inspiration from climate activist Greta Thunberg. Earlier, Bedford’s MP, Mohammad Yasin, addressed the crowd, saying he was sorry that politicians had let people down and pledging his support. One young protester addressing the crowd said: “We may only be 14 or 15 years old but we’re a force to be reckoned with.”
Later, a die-in was held in Harpur Square in Bedford town centre.
Indy Willaert, Liza, Fran Demeyer and Jana Bameils, all aged 13, have taken half a day off school to attend the climate march in Brussels.
Not all their teachers are in favour. “Some of them are alright with it, but some of them would rather have us in class,” says Fran, who has already taken part in several school strikes. “That climate is more important ... You can always do [your work] after school,” adds Indy.
Liza wants politicians to help make green choices easier, including reducing plastic waste. “We can only buy plastic because everything is in plastic. We want them to help us”
They all agree with Jana that politicians are not doing enough.
The four schoolgirls arrived from their home city of Ghent to join the climate march in Brussels, which started from the city’s North Station and will finish around the headquarters of the European Union.
Along the route there was music, drum beating and chanting. Young people jumped up and down to the slogan: “Plus chaud, plus chaud, plus chaud que le climat” (Hotter, hotter, hotter than the climate).
Stijn, a 28-year-old engineer, was missing work to join the protest. His employers “were not very happy about it but they couldn’t really make a fuss about it either,” he said. “Like the other side of my sign says there are no jobs on a dead planet so it is important to be here today.”
His friend, Deniz Malat, 27, a recent plant biology graduate, feels people are being ignored by the government. “We want change and we are being ignored by the government - the politicians. We want to come together to show we are serious and they should consider what we are saying here.”
People are also out in force in Poland.
Warsaw, Poland. #FridaysForFuture #ClimateStrike https://t.co/SeuHiUVxmT
Ten-year-old Nellie Jacobs and her mother, Helen, had never protested before their hometown of Whaley Bridge made national headlines earlier this month.Ten-year-old Nellie Jacobs and her mother, Helen, had never protested before their hometown of Whaley Bridge made national headlines earlier this month.
Nellie and her did were choosing books in the library of their quiet Derbyshire town when Helen called in a panic them to say that its dam had burst and the whole neighbourhood could go under. Nellie and her Dad were choosing books in the library of their quiet Derbyshire town when Helen called them in a panic to say its dam had burst and the whole neighbourhood could go under.
Carrying a homemade placed saying “School strike for climate”, Nellie was allowed to take the day off school at Whaley Bridge primary to join the global strike in Manchester. Carrying a homemade placard saying “School strike for climate”, Nellie was allowed to take the day off school at Whaley Bridge primary to join the global strike in Manchester.
She said:She said:
Everyone had to be evacuated and we raced for high ground. I was quite scared because we weren’t expecting it. We occasionally get police cars coming through Whaley for something that’s not in Whaley but we’ve not had crises in Whaley.Everyone had to be evacuated and we raced for high ground. I was quite scared because we weren’t expecting it. We occasionally get police cars coming through Whaley for something that’s not in Whaley but we’ve not had crises in Whaley.
I’m worried it might happen again. We weren’t used to that much rain so it made me worry and it made me think all this rain, we don’t get it usually so I thought that it was climate change that caused the rain.I’m worried it might happen again. We weren’t used to that much rain so it made me worry and it made me think all this rain, we don’t get it usually so I thought that it was climate change that caused the rain.
Her mother Helen Jacobs said she had never protested in her life but felt infuriated by the inaction of global leaders. She said:Her mother Helen Jacobs said she had never protested in her life but felt infuriated by the inaction of global leaders. She said:
It’s kind of getting the politicians to realise that they’ve made a mistake in saying that it’s really nothing when it’s a really big problem and we need to act on it now. I thought if I got out here and did something then it might happen.It’s kind of getting the politicians to realise that they’ve made a mistake in saying that it’s really nothing when it’s a really big problem and we need to act on it now. I thought if I got out here and did something then it might happen.
It’s been building up a lot in my mind. The climate is under threat and it has been for a long time but the action doesn’t seem to have fit the imperative. We feel like we need to wake the government up, we need to wake world leaders up and make them realise that we need systematic massive change.It’s been building up a lot in my mind. The climate is under threat and it has been for a long time but the action doesn’t seem to have fit the imperative. We feel like we need to wake the government up, we need to wake world leaders up and make them realise that we need systematic massive change.
We’re here and ready for change to bring the temperature down. We feel like we need to shake them by the collar to make them realise. The scientists are there telling them and still President Trump is denying climate change exists! Other leaders need to grab him, shake him, and get him on board. The whole world needs to get on this.We’re here and ready for change to bring the temperature down. We feel like we need to shake them by the collar to make them realise. The scientists are there telling them and still President Trump is denying climate change exists! Other leaders need to grab him, shake him, and get him on board. The whole world needs to get on this.
In Aviemore, a town in the Cairngorms National Park, in the Scottish Highlands, strikes are taking place.In Aviemore, a town in the Cairngorms National Park, in the Scottish Highlands, strikes are taking place.
So proud to see my sons heading off for the #ClimateStrike today in #Aviemore. The placards are made and they are ready to go #FridayForFuture Time for us all to do more #Cairngorms #Climate #NationalPark pic.twitter.com/74J9YXzZvNSo proud to see my sons heading off for the #ClimateStrike today in #Aviemore. The placards are made and they are ready to go #FridayForFuture Time for us all to do more #Cairngorms #Climate #NationalPark pic.twitter.com/74J9YXzZvN
We were sent another photograph of activity there today from Iain Gibson.We were sent another photograph of activity there today from Iain Gibson.
Nick from Norwich asked:Nick from Norwich asked:
How can I join in the strike in a non-unionised office where no one cares about climate change without getting the sack?How can I join in the strike in a non-unionised office where no one cares about climate change without getting the sack?
That is a tough one. Most companies will be affected by climate chaos in some way, however: extreme weather events are already costing billions a year and those costs are not coming down soon. Foresighted companies will audit the risks they face and act to deal with them. If you work for a publicly listed company, you could try buying some shares and turning up at the AGM to ask questions about how they are dealing with climate risk. If you don’t, more of your co-workers may be interested in the climate than you think: polls show a great majority of people in most countries are concerned about the climate crisis.That is a tough one. Most companies will be affected by climate chaos in some way, however: extreme weather events are already costing billions a year and those costs are not coming down soon. Foresighted companies will audit the risks they face and act to deal with them. If you work for a publicly listed company, you could try buying some shares and turning up at the AGM to ask questions about how they are dealing with climate risk. If you don’t, more of your co-workers may be interested in the climate than you think: polls show a great majority of people in most countries are concerned about the climate crisis.
Dan from Tunbridge Wells asked:Dan from Tunbridge Wells asked:
How will we make our nuclear power plants safe if this civilisation collapses? How does the hydrological cycle fit in? Can regenerative agriculture help?How will we make our nuclear power plants safe if this civilisation collapses? How does the hydrological cycle fit in? Can regenerative agriculture help?
Regenerative agriculture can help, and sustainable agriculture can reduce emissions, aid carbon storage and feed the world more healthily, as recent reports by the Lancet and WRI, among others, have shown. As for hydrology, the effects of climate chaos are likely to be the wet areas of the world getting wetter and the dry areas getting drier, which isn’t problematic. And as for nuclear power, some people - including the Guardian’s George Monbiot - see its an uncomfortable but perhaps necessary way out of the clinate crisis, but the very long term storage of nuclear waste is a problem still to be solved. Regenerative agriculture can help, and sustainable agriculture can reduce emissions, aid carbon storage and feed the world more healthily, as recent reports by the Lancet and WRI, among others, have shown. As for hydrology, the effects of climate chaos are likely to be the wet areas of the world getting wetter and the dry areas getting drier, which is problematic. And as for nuclear power, some people - including the Guardian’s George Monbiot - see it as an uncomfortable but perhaps necessary way out of the climate crisis, but the very long-term storage of nuclear waste is a problem still to be solved.
Kee from London asked:Kee from London asked:
How much impact do long haul flights have? How does the impact compare with, say, driving a car, or using electrical household appliances every day? How much impact do long-haul flights have? How does the impact compare with, say, driving a car, or using electrical household appliances every day?
My colleague Niko Kommenda recently published an excellent calculator showing what impact flights have. Whether you can offset the emissions from such flights by cutting carbon in other aspects depends on how many flights you take and where to.My colleague Niko Kommenda recently published an excellent calculator showing what impact flights have. Whether you can offset the emissions from such flights by cutting carbon in other aspects depends on how many flights you take and where to.
Niko from Germany asked:Niko from Germany asked:
What is your estimate on how much renewables capacity Europe needs to build to meet its climate targets? My rough guess is between 30-40 GW per year, that would equal about 600 wind turbines per month, that’s quite a challenge (other forms of renewables are of course also available). What is your estimate on how much renewables capacity Europe needs to build to meet its climate targets? My rough guess is between 30-40 GW per year, that would equal about 600 wind turbines per month, that’s quite a challenge (other forms of renewables are of course available).
The International Energy Agency and the European Environment Agency are the best sources.The International Energy Agency and the European Environment Agency are the best sources.
Stephen from Cheshire asked:Stephen from Cheshire asked:
Whatever happened to the plant a tree in ‘73 campaigns I grew up with in the 1970s? Surely now is a good time to kickstart this again with planting in every public space and private garden. Fruit trees also feed us and wildlife. I have planted hundreds of trees over the years. Ultimately, however, the planet is simply overcrowded. My wife and I chose to be child free so we’ve done our bit...Whatever happened to the plant a tree in ‘73 campaigns I grew up with in the 1970s? Surely now is a good time to kickstart this again with planting in every public space and private garden. Fruit trees also feed us and wildlife. I have planted hundreds of trees over the years. Ultimately, however, the planet is simply overcrowded. My wife and I chose to be child free so we’ve done our bit...
I love the plant a tree in 73 campaign as I used to have some of the stickers! Planting trees is part of the UK government response but so far targets have been missed. Today my colleague Rowena Mason reports on an NHS tree planting campaign.I love the plant a tree in 73 campaign as I used to have some of the stickers! Planting trees is part of the UK government response but so far targets have been missed. Today my colleague Rowena Mason reports on an NHS tree planting campaign.
Thousands of French youngsters skipped school to march through Paris. Claude Guyon, a cinema decorator and sculptor, was dressed as a Brazilian tribal leader and carried a “sacred rattle”. He said:Thousands of French youngsters skipped school to march through Paris. Claude Guyon, a cinema decorator and sculptor, was dressed as a Brazilian tribal leader and carried a “sacred rattle”. He said:
I’m here to represent the guardians of the Earth from north and South America. The tribal leader, who is a woman, gave me this headdress so I could be here today as an ambassador for her.I’m here to represent the guardians of the Earth from north and South America. The tribal leader, who is a woman, gave me this headdress so I could be here today as an ambassador for her.
Primary school headteacher Scott McFarlane took the morning off work to attend the Middlesborough climate strike with his wife, who is also a teacher, and his nine-year-old son, who is a pupil at his school.
During the strike, dozens of protesters staged a “die in” in the North Yorkshire town’s Centre Square – lying on the pavement for seven minutes to illustrate the rate at which it is believed species are becoming extinct.
McFarlane allowed other children at Stokesley primary academy to take part in the strikes if they wished, giving them an “education other than at school” mark on the register.
While not many took up the offer, he said the fact that so many young people seemed to be engaged with environmental activism had given him hope.
“I think Greta Thunberg’s an absolute idol. We’ve got kids at school who last year were coming dressed as Ariana Grande, but have now changed their hairstyles to look like Greta,” said McFarlane.
McFarlane, who is a member of Extinction Rebellion Teesside, said he and his son would be striking from the school next month for XR’s October Rebellion in London.
“I am genuinely scared for the future of the human race. Not in the distant future but soon. We have to act,” he said.
“If there’s any further action like today, I will always let children have the day off. Not everybody agrees and I’m not asking them to, really. But I hope our example is one that people are starting to take on board.”
Of all the venues globally that will host climate strike protests today, none can surpass Miami Beach for poignancy. Florida’s poster-city for sea level rise will sink under seven feet of water by the end of the century, if scientists’ predictions are realised, and already it takes only a high tide and a rainy day to send floodwaters surging inland.
These dark clouds are why student climate activists from all over South Florida will gather at Miami Beach city hall this morning to reinforce their message that more needs to be done. At the most recent youth strike in May, barely four dozen waved placards and called for action - but today students will walk out of their South Florida schools and assemble there in their hundreds to highlight the urgency of the moment.
Gabriella Marchesani, a Miami high school senior and an organiser of today’s rally:
We’re told by the adults, ‘what you’re doing is a good thing, keep up the great work’. But it shouldn’t be just ‘oh, keep doing what you’re doing’, it should be ‘let me see what I can do to help you. How can I be a climate voter? How can I switch my lifestyle to be more sustainable? How can I lower my carbon footprint?’
She adds:
We want this to be that historic moment that we look back on and say that was the day we got it changed. That was the day we were able to make people hear us, and create legislation and address this crisis.
Andreu from Valencia, Spain asked:
According to scientists, the “natural evolution” of the sun will lead to major climate change here on the Earth. So, what role, if any, does solar activity (solar winds, solar flares, sunspots) play in climate change right now? Are we missing something, have we miscalculated or does the sun have nothing to do with climate change at this point?
Changes in the sun’s activity are not causing the climate change and global heating we are currently experiencing. They are caused by human actions, chiefly burning fossil fuels and changing land use, as successive reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have conclusively shown.
Alex from Warwickshire asked:
The electrification of small vehicles is seen as an achievable near-term step towards cutting emissions, but to replace a significant fraction of the current fossil-fuelled fleet would presumably require a drastic increase in the global extraction and use of ‘rare-earth’ metals for battery manufacture. How well do we currently understand the environmental impact of such a change and are there more sustainable battery technologies on the horizon?
In the long term, availability of rare earths will be an important issue but it is equally important to note that there are no serious current supply problems as the manufacturing rates show. Batteries are one of the biggest areas of research and there are multiple avenues being explored, from nanotechnology to graphene and even aluminium, a common metal, as an alternative. Hydrogen fuel cells are another possibility.
Tracey from Ross-on-Wye asked:
Guy McPherson, an environmental scientist, argues that, due to the protection from the sun’s heat attributable to global dimming, if we cut carbon emissions the Earth will heat faster, and the planet will be uninhabitable for any species within a decade. Why is this theory not spoken about or even mentioned by any other leading environmental voices?
Because it is wrong. The dimming of light from the sun owing to aerosols does have a small effect, but as you seem to be pointing out, many of the aerosols are soot, or black carbon. Black carbon actually adds to warming, especially when it falls on snow. Removing black carbon and other short-lived climate pollutants could reduce temperatures by as much as 0.5C as work by Durwood Zaelke and others has clearly shown.
You can share your questions now via our form here, or in the comments below but please @Fiona so that they’ll be easier for us to find.
Lyra Harris, six, from Islington, London, protesting outside 10 Downing Street, said:
Stop this nonsense. Our Earth is getting too hot. We have to act now for everyone. It’s not just for humans, climate change harms the animals too.
Over in Greece it is pupils who have been leading protests with hundreds pouring into Athens’ main plaza, Syntaga square.
Ariadni, 15, holding a hand-drawn placard of a weeping planet under a halo of heat said:
I am here to raise awareness. There’s not much time left. This is global. People need to be informed and they need to act now.
Maria Makarem, the 16-year-old who had helped organise the strike said the protesters had ended up in front of the parliament to ram home the message that urgent times call for urgent measures.
“They have to understand, all the politicians in there, that we are the new generation and we want change,” she said, her own placard proclaiming: “Our world, our future, our choice.”
Yiannis Marangakis and Foivos Anastadiades, both aged 10 and both taken out of class by their mothers Daniella and Myrtia to attend the protest, had an even simpler message: “The earth is very important to us. We have to save it.”
This shows the scale of the march in Edinburgh:
The Edinburgh climate march is loooooooooong! I didn’t get anywhere near the end. #schoolstrike4climate pic.twitter.com/kIatZ2Pm6V
Ian Mantgani, 36, is striking in London today. He says:
We have to put pressure on our employers, MPs and friends. We need a new power grid and electric cars on the road or we’re toast. Keep pressuring those in power for concrete change and keep pressuring them when they give you mealy mouthed answers. I believe that’s the best way forward for change.”
Chris from South Africa asked:
Why are we not seeing a rise in sea levels? Could it perhaps partly be due to the fact that rainfall across the SAHEL region that is rapidly greening is 40m olympic swimming pools up on a few years ago?
We are seeing a rise in sea levels. And sea levels alone are not the biggest problem: storm and tidal surges are much worse when sea levels are even slightly higher, with the power to overtop our sea defences.
Desertification is increasing in many parts of Africa, with climate change one of the reasons but not the only one (overgrazing and land use changes also play a major role).
Artur from Crewe asked:
Are we prepared to do real things to tackle climate change? We can say do this or do that but our use of social media takes significant resources. The cheap food, cheap technology, new mobiles released every year is driven by customers not the other way around so how many are actually genuinely prepared to change their way of life?
People are increasingly understanding that lifestyle changes are necessary, from veganism and flexitarian diets to changing our travel habits. Renewable energy such as wind and solar is already cheaper or on a par with fossil fuels in many areas, and its deployment is increasing fast.
A Guardian reader from London who wanted to remain anonymous asked:
How democratic is it that a secondary school threatens their pupils with being expelled if they participate in today’s strike? How are we teaching ‘British values’ to our kids if in their school are not allowed to protest for something that fully impacts their future? What will it be next? Forbid them to participate in any human rights support act?
Schools will make their own judgment, but engaging children with a subject of huge importance in scientific, political and historical terms might strike many teachers as a great opportunity. The climate emergency relates to chemistry, physics, biology, geography, history, social studies – you could probably even fit it into a load of other lessons too. Why not see this as an opportunity to engage pupils rather than turn them off?
Derek from West Sussex asked:
The UK has a good record of deploying offshore wind generation. What I don’t understand is why we aren’t deploying wave power and tidal power generation? We have the most coastline per head of any major European country. Wave power never stops, unlike wind, it is more energy dense than wind, and it could have other benefits like reducing coastal erosion.
Tidal power solutions likewise are always available and energy dense. There is an ecological cost in habitats but a balance is needed here. Do we really think that the ecological cost of a tidal barrier is worse than a nuclear power station? There is an ecological cost to farmland too, but we need to eat, so we cut down all the forests we had in medieval times to make room for agriculture. We just need to make some room for power generation too.
The UK is a world leader on offshore wind, as the latest green power auctions show. Wave and tidal power have proved more difficult, in the latter case partly owing to the changes that would be required to landscape a tidal lagoon. But as public subsidy is less needed for wind and solar as prices have come down, it might become possible to spend more of it on wave and tidal power – they may prove cheaper than the high costs agreed to by the government for nuclear energy.
The mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, received a warm applause at the city’s climate protest when he gave a speech pledging that “fracking is the past, it is not the future” – but by far the biggest cheers went to a 10-year-old girl called Lillia who took to the stage next.The local schoolgirl, with a high-pitched Mancunian accent and fluorescent ear-defenders tied to her backpack, gave a rousing speech taking aim at politicians for their “lies” – before turning directly to Burnham.
Lies, when you don’t count the airport in the emission figures! Lies, when we have 1,200 air pollution related deaths in Manchester just last year – but they plan to build a huge car park right next door to a school in Ancoats.
Lies when the pension funds of Manchester are still investing £1.4bn in fossil fuel companies … Lies, in April the mayor Andy Burnham, when I asked if he would support us. I asked for more than publicity stunt pictures. Where’s the action?
To huge cheers, she continued:
Today I woke up to the images around the world of a million people striking and my heart lifted because I knew we weren’t alone in our fight. Thank you for coming out to support us. Thank you for having the courage to fight for our future!
To adults I say, you have the power to vote you need to keep amplifying our voices. We the youth cannot wait until we are old enough - we need action now.
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
Numbers at Berlin‘s Klimastreik have reached 100,000, it has just been announced.
Carola Rackete, the SeaWatch Captain who was arrested in Italy several weeks ago addressed Berlin’s Klimastreik, to huge applause.
She told them:
We adults are responsible for the fact that the Earth is dying ... we should not be under the illusion that our individual actions can ... turn the situation around.
She paid tribute to “the children and young people who have campaigned tirelessly for over a year ... and managed to get this issue to the top of the political agenda”.
She said temperatures could be expected to rise by 4-6C by the end of the century. Extinction Rebellion, to which she belongs, was telling the truth when it predicted the collapse of human civilisation as a result. We can no longer stop global heating, she said, “it’s too late”, but we can “reduce greenhouse gases with immediate effect”.