Tens of thousands of young Aussies join global protests against climate change

Sarah Kimmorley/ Business InsiderSarah Kimmorley/ Business Insider

Tens of thousands of Australian students have joined students around the world by hitting the streets across the country to protest against inaction on climate change.

The demonstrations are part of the Global Climate Strike, a youth-led effort inspired by 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg, which is focussed on pressuring governments into protecting the environment for future generations.

Across the country demonstrations have been taking place, reportedly in up to 55 locations. ABC News reported 20,000 students turned out in Melbourne, along with thousands more in Sydney, Adelaide, Canberra and Hobart. Large numbers of students in regional locations were also out in force.

Australian children could be seen carrying signs saying ‘this generation cares’, ‘I’ll tidy my room when you tidy the planet’ and ‘I’ve seen better cabinets at IKEA’.

Students could also be heard chanting “Stop Adani,” in reference to the controversial planned coal mine in Queensland.

Earlier, NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes had warned students against missing school to attend the protest because they would be breaking the law.

Despite this, the students turned out in the tens of thousands to fight for the environment.

According to NASA, the last four years on Earth have been the warmest on record.

A report last year by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a warning that if aggressive action to reduce emissions is not taken, the world will be faced with phenomena like worsening wildfires, food shortages and other catastrophic events as early as 2040.

In Australia, South Australia, New South Wales are parts of Victoria are dealing with prolonged drought. A study by the CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology predicted in 2015 that climate change would lead to more frequent conditions ripe for severe bushfires like the “Black Saturday” fires in Victoria that killed 173 people in 2009.

“Projections of warming and drying in southern and eastern Australia will lead to increases in [forest fire danger index] and a greater number of days with severe fire danger. In a business as usual scenario (worst case, driest scenario), severe fire days increase by up to 160-190% by 2090,” the report said.

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