New wave of global climate protests: Are Friday strikes here to stay?

Friday's second wave of protests began in New Zealand
Friday's second wave of protests began in New Zealand Copyright AP
By Alastair JamiesonLuke Hurst with Associated Press
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A new wave of worldwide climate change protests inspired by Greta Thunberg's 'Fridays for Future' movement has got underway,


A new wave of worldwide climate change protests inspired by Greta Thunberg's 'Fridays for Future' movement has got underway, with thousands marching on the streets as UN aviation leaders gather to discuss air travel emission targets.

Tens of thousands of people marched to New Zealand's Parliament and through the streets of Auckland early Friday, kicking off another day of global action a week after several million people took part in the so-called climate strike last Friday.

As similar protests are expected to get underway in Europe and North America, Euronews spoke to a panel of experts on whether the action is working, and if it will remain a regular event until more progress is made by leaders.

More: Global climate strike in pictures

Brendan O’Nolan, engagement lead at Greenpeace's Collective Climate Action Campaign, says climate action has had a big impact already, with the students from the school strikes for climate "reaching new audiences for the climate movement every day".

“For a student to strike from school, it might not seem like the most powerful action in the world, but when there’s millions of them in the street, they’re absolutely impossible to ignore," he says.

Mans Nilsson, executive director of the Stockholm Environment Institute, argues that it's important not to only focus on the negatives of the climate situation, telling us there are lots of ambitious policies being produced, and industries are taking "big leaps forward" too.

He claims the defining progress will be made when we shift from this focus being on how individuals work for a better climate, to government, city andindustry action, "which are the places we live in, and the policies we live under, that is where you can have the bigger shifts".

And according to the science, those shifts are desperately needed. An IPCC report released earlier this week on the state of the planet's warming oceans and melting cryosphere warned of the dire consequences facing us, unless there was "unprecedented" action undertaken by governments.

More: 'Unprecedented' action needed to avert crisis facing world's oceans and ice

Faig Abbasov, the EU transport and environment manager, defends the actions of groups such as Extinction Rebellion, which have shut down whole city centres in an attempt to get governments to act on the climate emergency.

“It is the best way to bring the issue to the forefront, so many people became aware of the nature of the problem," he says, adding these actions will eventually generate enough pressure on governments to force them to work on solutions.

Thunberg, the Swedish teenage who inspired a “flight-shaming” movement against air travel, was spearheading another climate change strike in Montreal to coincide with a UN meeting on aviation.

She was expected to arrive there in an electric car supplied by former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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