Australians affected by recent devastating wildfires in the country have joined young environmentalists kicking off a global protest demanding that governments act against climate change.
The “global day of action” involves rallies in hundreds of cities around the world.
It comes days before officials gather on Monday in Madrid for talks on tackling climate change.
Janet Reynolds, who joined a protest in Sydney, said she had lost everything in an “inferno, an absolute firestorm that raced through my property”.
In September 7,5 million people around the world took to the streets. Tomorrow we’re doing it again. Everyone’s needed. Everyone’s welcome. Join us! #FridaysForFuture #ClimateStrike #schoolstrike4climate— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) November 28, 2019
Speaking outside the local offices of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s Liberal Party, student Daisy Jeffrey said: “People have lost their homes, people have lost their lives. We have to ask: How far does this have to go before our government finally takes action?”
Further rallies were taking places in cities worldwide, including Washington, London, Berlin and Madrid.
Swedish teenage activist Greta Thunberg, who is travelling across the Atlantic by sailboat to attend the climate talks next week, sent a message of support to protesters.
“Everyone’s needed. Everyone’s welcome. Join us,” she said on Twitter.
About two dozen environmental activists in the German capital symbolically jumped into the chilly waters of the Spree river in front of parliament to protest against a government-backed package of measures they say will not be enough to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.
The package was blocked Friday by Germany’s upper house, which represents the country’s 16 states.
In South Africa, a few dozen people holding signs saying “Not Cool” and “Stop Pollution Now” protested outside the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
One protester lay on the ground faking death, holding a sign saying “Black Friday, Reason to Grieve.”
Africa contributes the least to climate change and is the least prepared to deal with it. Temperatures in parts of the continent are projected to rise more quickly than the global average.
“The reality is that we have a climate change emergency,” said protest organiser Elana Azrai. She noted water shortages in parts of the country amid a drought in southern Africa.
Elsewhere, officials have raised the alarm over unusually severe rainfall in East Africa and a pair of cyclones that ripped into Mozambique within weeks of each other earlier this year.
Scores of young Nigerians marched in downtown Lagos displaying messages such as “There is no planet B” and “Stop Denying the Earth is Dying” as passing vehicles slowed and honked horns in support.