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Climate strike: global climate change protest kicks off in Australia and Pacific – live updates Climate strike: global climate change protest kicks off in Australia and Pacific – live updates
(32 minutes later)
Continuing our series – EnergyAustralia have agreed to field a question from a climate striker. Along with Queensland’s Stanwell Corporation, they were the other one of Australia’s top 10 carbon emitters to agree.
Josh O’Callaghan, 15 from Adelaide asks:
What are the future initiatives that your company plans to put in place to have 100% renewable energy production?
Mark Collette, the head of EnergyAustralia’s customer business answers:
Thanks Josh. Designing and building a 100% renewable energy system is a huge change for Australia. I think Australians are up for the challenge. Your home state of South Australia has solar and wind already providing over half of the electricity supplied to South Australians.
In planning for 100% renewables, the first 50% is easier than the second 50%. Solar and wind generation follow the sun and the wind, so when it is not sunny and windy, we can’t produce power for customers.
I reckon that above about 50% renewables for Australia, we need to find ways to move the power from the sun and the wind to dark and still times, or use it immediately.
One way we do this is storage. Already we have two of the largest batteries in the country in Victoria, and we are working on two large pumped hydro projects – one of which is in your state of South Australia.
Another way we are exploring is helping customers use power when it is available from the sun and the wind. We can time pool pumps and hot water systems to run just through these times.
There’s a long way to go – but we like tackling tough problems, like the second 50%.
In Sydney Daisy, 17, tells the crowd their frustration has never been about people working in the fossil-fuel industry. Their demand is “about acting to halt this crisis while creating safe and meaningful work for all of us”.
INCREDIBLE pic.twitter.com/BBFoYUd76o
And let’s not forget the regions.
More photos from Lismore from Frewoini Baume:
And these beautiful pictures from Katherine in the NT:
And here’s Albury:
Good turn out for #ClimateStrike in #Albury pic.twitter.com/lEhazJ4Ofw
The crowd in Sydney is getting so big you can really only see it from the air.
From a different angle. pic.twitter.com/onk7kVfqyH
Perth and Canberra aren’t too shabby either:
Perth climate strike #ClimateStrike pic.twitter.com/aZO7SmBaZn
Amazing to join colleagues and friends at #schoolstrike4climate in #Canberra today - proud of a community standing for a safe climate future @EnergyEstate pic.twitter.com/bHd4PIvj3i
This is the third nationwide climate strike in Australia – after November 2018 and March 2019. They get bigger every time.
Organisers say there are some 22,000 people at Hobart’s global climate rally - they say this is the biggest strike action Tasmania has ever seen @abchobart pic.twitter.com/CUGpg85V46
Amelia Neylon, 16, is on the ground and tells Guadian AUutralia:
The crowd is reportedly over 22,000. Bob Brown at this count has said it is larger then the Franklin River rally. Making this the largest rally in Tasmania held to date.
It’s all happening.
Brisbane. #ClimateStrike pic.twitter.com/KrJzLNtzfA
Lots of babies at this protest. They don’t even have jobs! #ClimateStrike pic.twitter.com/q3J3MwFYPz
Big turnout at Gosford #ClimateStrike (pic via my dad) pic.twitter.com/06ekkdErkR
The largest street protest in Hobart since the FRANKLIN River - 22,000 people demanding Climate Action Now #politas #ClimateStrike pic.twitter.com/xqjSlwN7Ci
Another must-watch, exclusive to Guardian Australia:
Harriet O'Shea Carre is one of the original school strikers from Castlemaine. She is in New York for the UN Climate Summit. Harriet is also seeking a meeting with @AIGinsurance to voice her concern over their involvement with the Adani coal mine. #ClimateStrike pic.twitter.com/VSnPKCcwKs
Meanwhile Australia’s strikes are making waves around the world:
Incredible pictures as Australia’s gathering for the #climatestrike This is the huge crowd building up in Sydney. Australia is setting the standard! Its bedtime in New York...so please share as many pictures as you can as the strikes move across Asia to Europe and Africa! pic.twitter.com/7eAPUQPq5C
If you are Gen X or above, then you can laugh at the latest from First Dog on the Moon instead*:
*This is a joke – First Dog is funny for all ages.
I’m a millennial / Gen Z so I understand these signs. If you don’t, rest assured they are very funny.I’m a millennial / Gen Z so I understand these signs. If you don’t, rest assured they are very funny.
pic.twitter.com/adDN1uioJbpic.twitter.com/adDN1uioJb
In Brisbane, here’s Parker with his message to the government – and a great poem.In Brisbane, here’s Parker with his message to the government – and a great poem.
How cool is Parker #climatestrike pic.twitter.com/1OqOAOMqTsHow cool is Parker #climatestrike pic.twitter.com/1OqOAOMqTs
The award for best sign is getting more competitive every minute. Here is Matilda (3).The award for best sign is getting more competitive every minute. Here is Matilda (3).
Sydney’s strikes have started but aren’t even at full swing, Melbourne’s starts in 1.5 hours, and preparations have begun in Perth.Sydney’s strikes have started but aren’t even at full swing, Melbourne’s starts in 1.5 hours, and preparations have begun in Perth.
Earlier today we saw huge turnouts in regional areas, including Alice Springs and Byron Bay.Earlier today we saw huge turnouts in regional areas, including Alice Springs and Byron Bay.
Protesters have already started gathering in #Perth for today’s #ClimateStrike !!! pic.twitter.com/8bOlPSI31BProtesters have already started gathering in #Perth for today’s #ClimateStrike !!! pic.twitter.com/8bOlPSI31B
Angus Taylor has also agreed to take a question.Angus Taylor has also agreed to take a question.
From Josh O’Callaghan, 15, from Adelaide:From Josh O’Callaghan, 15, from Adelaide:
It is said that ‘if those who believe in climate change are wrong, we will have needlessly created a cleaner world, but if those who don’t believe in climate change are wrong, we will die’. Do you agree? If so, how should we act on this?It is said that ‘if those who believe in climate change are wrong, we will have needlessly created a cleaner world, but if those who don’t believe in climate change are wrong, we will die’. Do you agree? If so, how should we act on this?
Angus Taylor :Angus Taylor :
The federal government is taking strong action to reduce global emissions and respond to the serious challenge of climate change.The federal government is taking strong action to reduce global emissions and respond to the serious challenge of climate change.
The government’s $3.5bn climate solutions package sets out how we will meet our 2030 Paris target, down to the last tonne.The government’s $3.5bn climate solutions package sets out how we will meet our 2030 Paris target, down to the last tonne.
People are free to have their views, but my personal opinion is that students should be at school during school hours.”People are free to have their views, but my personal opinion is that students should be at school during school hours.”
Reporter Helen Davidson is on the ground in Sydney:Reporter Helen Davidson is on the ground in Sydney:
Clover Moore on the way to the Sydney #climatestrike “it’s so inspiring to see so many people heading towards the domain.” pic.twitter.com/LVifb0FG0zClover Moore on the way to the Sydney #climatestrike “it’s so inspiring to see so many people heading towards the domain.” pic.twitter.com/LVifb0FG0z
Rose from Glenmore Rd Paddington public school #climatestrike “the government has to stop doing nothing about climate change” pic.twitter.com/DeJctJAjd1Rose from Glenmore Rd Paddington public school #climatestrike “the government has to stop doing nothing about climate change” pic.twitter.com/DeJctJAjd1
Our first dispatches from Amelia Neylon in Hobart:Our first dispatches from Amelia Neylon in Hobart:
Photos and great signs from the Hobart #climatestrike from Amelia Neylon (16) pic.twitter.com/l4Q2c5DMmCPhotos and great signs from the Hobart #climatestrike from Amelia Neylon (16) pic.twitter.com/l4Q2c5DMmC
Meanwhile crowds build in Sydney. There is a LONG line to get in.Meanwhile crowds build in Sydney. There is a LONG line to get in.
My son is in the Domain for the #ClimateStrike today. Here’s his first video pic.twitter.com/PhEPD61lG2My son is in the Domain for the #ClimateStrike today. Here’s his first video pic.twitter.com/PhEPD61lG2
Esther in Byron Bay has interviewed her fellow strikers. Must-watch.Esther in Byron Bay has interviewed her fellow strikers. Must-watch.
Esther Plummer (13 years old) interviews fellow climate strikerJasper (15 years old) about why he is attending the #ClimateStrike in Byron Bay. pic.twitter.com/YTrFpOJrC3Esther Plummer (13 years old) interviews fellow climate strikerJasper (15 years old) about why he is attending the #ClimateStrike in Byron Bay. pic.twitter.com/YTrFpOJrC3
First images in from Hobart:
A huge crowd has gathered on Hobart’s Parliament Lawns for the #ClimateStrike #politas pic.twitter.com/ySfzAD2TCR
1000s here in Hobart #ClimateStrike pic.twitter.com/L8aM36LRrR
Sydney’s strike is scheduled to start at noon.
Huge crowds are still making their way to the city. This could take some time and is looking immense.
Massive crowds heading to Sydney Domain for the #climatestrike #schoolsstrike4climate pic.twitter.com/NoEdvBq5KU
Massive crowds building in #Sydney #ClimateStrike @SBSNews pic.twitter.com/Vhy1PI6d40
Some footage from Thailand:
#FridaysForFuture #ClimateStrikeThailand #ClimateStrike #ClimateEmergency pic.twitter.com/MC7dB0wLnc
Continuing our Q&A series is Labor’s spokesman on climate change and energy, Mark Butler.
Frewoini Baume, 18, from Lismore asks:
Permanent destruction for temporary economic gain is not a sustainable or stable economy. Why are you supporting the coal industry when it has been scientifically proven to be unsustainable? Yes, the economy may temporarily suffer but the longer you wait the more severe the impact. So why not act now?
Mark Butler:
The Labor party remains deeply committed to taking climate action to make sure that we comply with the commitments to future generations in the Paris agreement – to keep global warming way below 2 degrees and to pursue efforts around 1.5 degrees to make sure that we are at net zero emissions by the middle of the century.
There is no denying that Australia needs to drastically reduce its carbon emissions, but after coming down by more than 10% when Labor was last in office, emissions have been rising ever since the election of Tony Abbott, and the government’s own data shows they will keep rising all the way to 2030.
Australia doesn’t have a national climate policy. That is why we need to keep pressuring the Liberal government to take serious climate action.”
Some more charts, this time Australia-specific from our data editor, Nick Evershed:
This first shows warming in Australia, measuring how different the temperature is in a given year against the long-term average. Put simply, it demonstrates how things are getting hotter, and 2018 was the third-hottest year:
This second shows Australia’s quarterly emissions over time. The bars need to be under the two lines (assuming a linear rate of reduction to meet the target) if we are going to meet various emissions targets.
The pink line shows the trajectory to a 28% reduction in emissions, based on 2005 levels, by 2030. This is the more ambitious of Australia’s possible reduction targets under the Paris agreement.
The purple line is the trajectory proposed by the Climate Change Authority based on the best available science to ensure Australia makes a meaningful contribution towards keeping global temperature increases under 2C.
Ideally the bars should be below both lines.
And some early data from Twitter:
#ClimateStrike is trending #1 in Australia and has been for the past two hours
#schoolstrike4climate is at #2 and #friday4future is at #5
Australian cities where #climatestrike is trending:
Adelaide #2
Darwin #1
Melbourne #1
Perth #1
Sydney #1
#EXCLUSIVE: The first #climatestrike data is in! This is how the school strike conversation has lit up across Australia over the the last 3 days to now.Follow our #schoolstrike4climate live blog here: https://t.co/rViiPMOgWR Data via @TwitterAU #FridaysForFuture pic.twitter.com/ljPWK4yxQN
An on-the-ground sketch from First Dog on the Moon
You may have noticed the arresting temperature chart at the top of our site this morning – I know I did.
https://t.co/zq9DZH3JOt pic.twitter.com/F7kd5Rj3UA
Our colleagues internationally have also compiled more charts that explain the climate crisis.
Why are people striking? The climate crisis explained in 10 charts
And some slightly better news:
In Lismore Frewoini Baume has interviewed Suhani Sheppeard, 16.
FB: “Why are you striking?”
SS: “I’m striking because I believe it takes one person to change the world. Having that opportunity to be that person is incredibly inspiring and I want to be the one voice to inspire others.
“It feels incredibly empowering to be a part of the community in our global strike, and inspires me to always fight for climate justice.”
Jotham Napat, Vanuatu’s deputy prime minister, delivered his speech in English “because the people who need to hear this, the ones who are causing the problems, are not here”.
According to the Vanuatu Posts’ Dan McGarry, Napat named the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan and New Zealand as the ones who are “to blame for this threat to our survival”.
Earlier Vanuatu’s foreign affairs minister, Ralph Regenvanu, also spoke and criticised Australia. He characterised the discussions at the recent Pacific Islands forum in Tuvalu as a “fight” between Australia and the rest of the Pacific.
Regenvanu, an outspoken Pacific leader, has also promised to take his country’s climate grievance to the International Court of Justice to seek legal redress.
VU FM Ralph Regenvanu takes the gloves off. Describing the standoff in Tuvalu as a 'fight' with Australia, he promises to bring the nation's climate grievances to the ICJ to seek legal redress. #ClimateStrike #ClimateEmergency pic.twitter.com/tNk5HEHqcC
During the Pacific Islands forum Regenvanu told the Guardian that critical talks almost collapsed twice amid “fierce” clashes between Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, and other Pacific leaders.
“Australia is out there – they’re not with us,” Regenvanu said at the time.
Today students in Vanuatu partnered with the Vanuatu climate action network to stage a silent strike. Students wearing traditional dress and holding banners with messages about the climate crisis stood around the capital, Port Vila, as politicians walked around the city viewing the messages, finishing up at the seafront of the city where there were art exhibitions, poetry performances and speeches.