Swedish girl Greta Thunberg, above, who inspired worldwide protests against global warming on Friday, is set to address the UN Climate Action Summit in New York on Monday.
Speaking at Manhattan’s Battery Park at the culmination of a rally on Friday that drew some 250,000 climate activists, the 16-year-old said a wave of change is coming.
The protests happening around the world on Friday are just the beginning of a struggle against a small group of people who feel threatened by this change, she said.
As hundreds of thousands of students and workers joined marches chanting slogans against global warming, Thunberg said their future is being destroyed by some people for profit. It is time to apply pressure on political leaders to act against those responsible for climate crisis.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who participated in the protest march along with his wife, said the city stands with these young activists who skipped classes or work to rally against climate change. Calling them the conscience of the nation, Blasio said their energy, enthusiasm and focus make one feel their fight would not go in vain.
In Sweden, thousands of demonstrators gathered near the parliament where Thunberg started her climate strike last year that inspired the Fridays for Future movement.
In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thunberg has rightly blamed politicians for ignoring warnings on climate change.
Some 80,000 protesters gathered at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate by noon. In Hamburg, 45,000 protesters staged marches. Some 1.4 million people took out marches across Germany.
In the Netherlands, five teenagers started a 120-kilometre trek from Wageningen to The Hague to awaken people on the threat of climate change.
In Brussels, 15,000 youth marched past the European Commission demanding immediate climate justice.
Tens of thousands of youth protested in Britain as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn addressed the largest rally near parliament in central London.
In South Africa, hundreds of people gathered near the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg demanding more action against climate change.
Climate protests were held in Kampala in Uganda and Nairobi in Kenya. About 200 marched in Ghana’s capital Accra.
In the Pacific Islands of Vanuatu, the Solomons and Kiribati, children chanted they are fighting and not sinking.
Protesters in Asia and Australia said their governments should not allow new coal or gas projects. They demanded 100% renewable energy by 2030.
Demonstrators in Bangladesh, Thailand and the Philippines wanted their respective governments to declare a climate emergency.
Global warming caused by carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases produced largely by human activities has led to droughts and heat waves, melting glaciers, rising sea levels and floods.