0744 GMT December 14, 2019
Tens of thousands of mostly young people marched to New Zealand’s Parliament on Friday, kicking off the second wave of worldwide protests demanding swift action on climate change.
The latest round of protests, which builds on last week's marches by millions of children around the world, rolled through Asia and Europe ahead of Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg’s second speech in the Canadian city of Montreal. The protests would culminate in a rally in Canada.
The protests were inspired by Thunberg, who spoke to world leaders this week at a UN summit in New York.
The march to the New Zealand Parliament in the capital, Wellington, was one of the largest protests ever held there, and organizers needed to change their security plans to accommodate a swelling crowd. Thousands more marched in Auckland and in other parts of the country.
Marchers also turned out in Myanmar, India, Hungary, Germany, Spain and France among other countries.
About 500 students in the South Korean capital, Seoul, urged more government action to address climate change, marching towards the presidential Blue House after a downtown rally, where they said the government gets an 'F' in climate action.
On the other side of the planet, tens of thousands rallied in Italy’s capital, Rome, where protesters held up signs with slogans such as “Change the system, not the climate” or just the word “Future.”
Another march In the Italian financial hub of Milan, a banner read “How dare you!” – the accusation Thunberg, 16, leveled at world leaders during her UN speech in New York on Monday. The Italian Education Ministry said students attending the event would not be penalized for missing school.
Fears about the impact of global warming on the younger generation were expressed by schoolchildren in Dharmsala, India. South Asia depends heavily on water from the Himalayan glaciers that are under threat from climate change.
In Germany, activists from the Fridays for Future group planned to protest a package the government recently agreed for cutting the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. Experts say the proposal falls far short of what’s needed if the world’s sixth biggest emitter is to meet the goal of the Paris climate accord.
The protests are part of the so-called global climate strike that saw what organizers have said were several million people march in cities across the world last Friday ahead of the UN climate meeting. New Zealand, Italy, Canada and a number of other countries focused their protest efforts on the second wave, bookending a week in which climate change was at the forefront of the global conversation.
Thunberg said she planned to attend a protest in Montreal.
In the Netherlands, where thousands joined a protest in The Hague, some participants acknowledged that getting politicians to take action against global warming was only part of the story.
“It’s also about then leading sustainable lives and taking changes to make your life more sustainable,” said Utrecht University student Beth Meadows.
AP and Daily Mail contributed to the story.