This content is not available in your region

Over 1.4 million schoolchildren expected to strike over climate change worldwide

Access to the comments Comments
By Joao Vitor Da Silva Marques  & Jessica Saltz in Berlin and Bryan Carter in Brussels
Over 1.4 million schoolchildren expected to strike over climate change worldwide
Copyright  Dean Lewins/REUTERS   -   Dean Lewins/REUTERS

Today more than 1.4 million school pupils around the world are expected to walk out of lessons in what is believed to be the biggest protest calling for action on climate change to date.

Climate school strikes are planned in 1,623 places in 119 countries around the world, according to a tweet from Greta Thunberg, seen as many as the figurehead of the movement calling for actions by policymakers on climate change.

Australia and New Zealand have kick-started today’s protests with students taking to the streets, holding placards reading: “We are not going to school today, we are striking for climate!”

In Germany, school strike demonstrations are expected to be the largest ever with pupils striking all over the country. School children there have been debating the issue with established politicians on TV ahead of this week’s EU elections. Their message to the lawmakers has been that current climate change policies in the country are “irresponsible.”

In Belgium, thousands of young people are also expected to walk out of schools putting more pressure on political leaders to act, after 19 weeks demonstrations. The protesters also hope to influence the outcome of EU elections, which are currently taking place across Europe.

The UK became the first country in the world to declare a climate emergency in a symbolic act in parliament earlier this month, a call backed by opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who asked for “rapid and dramatic actions” to protect the environment for generations to come.

The Republic of Ireland became the second country to declare a similar emergency, in a series of stark warnings declaring “climate action is no longer a choice, but a very basic necessity for survival.”

But it is important to remember that far-right Eurosceptic parties, which do not believe that humans have an effect on climate change, are set to make considerable gains on the number of MEPs being elected in this week's ballot.

Watch Good Morning Europe’s report on the school climate strikes in the player above.

Journalist • Joao Vitor Da Silva Marques

Video editor • Joao Vitor Da Silva Marques