Sunday 20 October 2019

In pictures: Tens of thousands join global climate strike as Ireland gears up for day of protests

A woman holds up a sign as she takes part in a protest to call for action on climate change in Melbourne, Australia, September 20, 2019. REUTERS/Melanie Burton
A woman holds up a sign as she takes part in a protest to call for action on climate change in Melbourne, Australia, September 20, 2019. REUTERS/Melanie Burton
People take part in a protest to call for action on climate change in Melbourne, Australia, September 20, 2019. REUTERS/Melanie Burton
A protester displays a sign as she takes part in a protest to call for action on climate change in Melbourne, Australia, September 20, 2019. REUTERS/Melanie Burton
An environmental activist with the words "Climate Justice" written on her leg participates in a Global Climate Strike near the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment office in Bangkok, Thailand September 20, 2019. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
An environmental activist with the words "Climate Justice" written on her leg participates in a Global Climate Strike near the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment office in Bangkok, Thailand September 20, 2019. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
People dressed in animal costumes attend a climate change protest in Colombo, Sri Lanka September 20, 2019. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte
An environmental activist participates in a Global Climate Strike near the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment office in Bangkok, Thailand September 20, 2019. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

Rod McGuirk

Tens of thousands of protesters have joined rallies across Australia on a day of worldwide demonstrations calling for action to tackle climate change.

Some of the first rallies in what is being billed as a "global climate strike" began in Sydney and Canberra, with demonstrators calling on leaders in Australia, the world's largest exporter of coal and liquid natural gas, to take more drastic action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

READ MORE: Climate strike: 'It is our future. It is everybody's future' - Thousand of student protesters take to the streets in Ireland

The Global Strike 4 Climate said protests are being staged in 110 towns and cities across Australia on Friday, with organisers demanding government and business commit to a target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.

Students hold flags during a climate change protest in Marovo Island, Solomon Islands, September 20, 2019 in this picture obtained from social media. Mandatory credit 350 PACIFIC/via REUTERS. ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.
Students hold flags during a climate change protest in Marovo Island, Solomon Islands, September 20, 2019 in this picture obtained from social media. Mandatory credit 350 PACIFIC/via REUTERS. ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.

Similar rallies are planned across the globe, with 800 events set to take place in the US and 400 in Germany.

The protests are partly inspired by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, who has staged weekly demonstrations under the heading "Fridays for Future" over the past year, calling on world leaders to step up their efforts against climate change.

Many who have followed her lead are students, but the movement has since spread to civil society groups.

Siobhan Sutton, a 15-year-old student at Perth Modern School, said she will fail a maths exam by attending a protest in the city.

"I have basically been told that because it is not a valid reason to be missing school - it is not a medical reason or anything - I am going to get a zero on the test if I don't actually sit it," she said.

"Even though we ourselves aren't sick, the planet which we live on is, and we are protesting and fighting for it."

Acting PM Michael McCormack, in charge while premier Scott Morrison is on a state visit to the US, said students should be in school.

He said: "These sorts of rallies should be held on a weekend where it doesn't actually disrupt business, it doesn't disrupt schools, it doesn't disrupt universities.

"I think it is just a disruption."

Mr Morrison will have dinner with President Donald Trump on Friday and has been criticised for failing to include in his New York itinerary the UN climate summit on Monday, when leaders will present their long-term plans for curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

 

The following is a list of Climate Strikes due to take place around the country today:

Cork: Marching from Grand Parade Street, 12.00 – 14.00

Limerick: Marching from Arthur’s Quay Park to City Hall, 13.00

Tralee: Outside Tralee Council Houses, 9.00 – 14.00

Galway: Eyre Square, 12.00 – 15.00

Dublin: Marching from Custom House – Merrion Square: 12.00 – 14.00

Dún Laoghaire: Town Hall, 15.00

Navan: Market Square, 13.00 – 15.00

Dundalk: Market Square, 12.30 – 15.30

Drogheda: St Peter’s Church, West Street, 13.00

Kenmare: Outside Courthouse 9.00 – 13.00

Ennis: Outside The Height, O’Connell Sq., 9.00

Athlone: March from Civic Centre 15.00

Roscommon: Outside Library, 11.00

Belfast: Donegall Square, 11.00

Derry: Guildhall Square, 13.00

Letterkenny: Falcarragh, 08.50

Carlow: Town Hall, 13.00

Bantry: Wolfe Tone Sq, 12.00

Schull: Colla Road, 09.30am

Dingle: Town Park, 12.00

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