‘Four million’ join students in climate marches, building pressure on leaders

Organisers said record numbers marched in countries around the world, sending a clear message to politicians meeting in New York

Hundreds of thousands of young people took to the streets in New York demanding governments do more to tackle the climate crisis (Photo: Chloé Farand)

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More than four million people have taken part in an unprecedented wave of climate protests across the world, organisers said, in the most powerful message to governments yet to take serious action.

The global strike was billed as the largest climate protest in history days before  world leaders gather in New York for a three-day climate action summit convened by UN secretary general António Guterres starting Saturday.

Hundreds of thousands of people, mostly young people, some accompanied by parents, gathered in Foley Square in front of the Thurgood Marshall courthouse in downtown Manhattan in September heat, waving colourful hand-painted placards.

“Cooler is cool”, “Remember when the earth was cool” and “The earth should not be hotter than me” read some of the signs, encapsulating a sense that climate action was now utterly mainstream.

What is the UN climate action summit?

The protest marched through the streets of New York to Battery Park, at the southern tip of Manhattan, to hear from Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. The social movement she inspired in such a short amount of time culminated in a powerful message to governments that to remain relevant to young voters, their actions need to change.

Organisers 350.org said protests around the world had mobilised more than four million people in 163 countries. That number could not be independently verified.

Amazing images flooded social media, those are shared below.

At the summit on Monday, politicians will make their response by announcing their plans for greater ambition.

Across the world, the climate strike was an expression of people’s democratic power. The day was up to a strong start as hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Sydney, Australia.

On the low-lying island of Kirabiti, where plans are already in place to relocate communities vulnerable to sea level rise, young people sent a message to the world that they won’t give up in the face of adversity.

There were gatherings in Hyderabad, the capital of India’s southern Telangana state.

And a roller-blade protest in Uganda.

From Nepal to Frieberg to Angola, people asked their governments to do more to address the climate crisis.

Even in Afghanistan, a country torn by conflict and violence, people walked out for the climate under heavy security.

Huge crowds turned out in London and Berlin.

There were marches in Pakistan…..

…. and in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Workers in Brazil also showed their solidarity with the strikers.

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