What It Looks Like When Students Across The Globe Walk Out To Protest Climate Inaction

by Seth Millstein
Scott Olson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

On Friday, students in over 100 countries around the world walked out of class to protest global inaction against climate change. Photos from the school climate strike illustrate just how important of an issue global warming is to young activists — which is makes sense, given that young people will have to live with the effects of today's climate change policies for many decades to come.

In the lead-up to the protest, over 2,052 events were planned across 123 countries, CNN reports. The demonstrations were inspired by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, who began protesting in front of the Swedish parliament in August 2018. Since then, she's been outside of the building on most Fridays to draw attention to catastrophic climate change, the BBC reports, and has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts.

The young activists have reason to be outraged, as recent studies have contained some rather alarming warnings about climate change's projected effects. A 2018 report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that by 2030, global temperatures will be around 1.5 degrees celsius higher than pre-industrial levels, which will put hundreds of millions of people at risk of drought, wildfires, food shortages and other catastrophes. But experts also noted at the time that a 1.5 degree increase is something of a best-case scenario: The goal of the Paris Climate Accords, which the U.S. has withdrawn from, is to limit global temperature increase to a "mere" 2.0 degrees celsius over the next century.

Needless to say, the youngest generations will be the ones dealing with the effects of these policies, so it's no surprise that students took to the streets to demand action against climate change. Here's what it looked like.

"The Oceans Are Rising And So Are We"

The American protesters have an extensive list of demands on their website, including a Green New Deal, a halt on any fossil fuel infrastructure projects, a national emergency declaration on climate change, and preservation of public lands.

"I'll Skip A Day Of Kindergarten..."

US Youth Climate Strike, the American branch of the protest, is also demanding the extraction of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, changes to the agricultural industry and an end to fracking as necessary steps to to fight global warming.

"Liar, Liar, Planet On Fire"

In New York City, the protesters ranged from pre-teens to college students, Gothamist reports.

"Act Now Or Swim Later"

In the U.K., the protests were supported by leaders from most of the major political parties. The ruling Conservative Party was an exception, however, with Prime Minister Theresa May saying that the striking students are missing out on valuable class time, according to the BBC.

"Don't Bother Writing A Will"

“Climate change has always been an incredibly important issue for me,” student Katie Hodgetts, who helped organize the protests in the English city of Bristol, tells Bristol Live. “But for my entire life I have watched past and present governments act in a way that jeopardises my right to a healthy and fair future.

"There Is No Planet B"

In Scotland, thousands of students turned out for the climate strike, the BBC reports.

"Don't Frack With Mother Nature"

The strike truly was a global event, with students in El Salvador, India, South Africa, Canada, Italy, France, Thailand and over 100 other countries participating, according to EuroNews.

"Even The Introverts..."

Hundreds of striking students came to the Capitol building in St. Paul, Minnesota with signs in hand, the Star Tribune reports.

"Dare To Be Aware"

The strike was a big hit in Ireland, with an estimated 11,000 students joining the protests, according to the Irish Times.

School Can Wait

In Turkey, students in at least five cities participated in the strikes, according to the Turkish news site Bianet.

"Make Earth Green Again"

Many of the signs seen in the protests directly or indirectly criticized Donald Trump, who withdrew the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accords and believes that climate change is a hoax created by the Chinese government.

"Grumpy Old Man..."

Although the strike was student led, it wasn't only young people who took to the streets on Friday.

"Adults In The Room"

"Classes may be for our future, but we won't have a future to look up to if we don't come to protests like this," Rose Kahhali, a student protester in Canada, tells CBC.

In 2018, Americans students showed their political might by staging a mass walkout to protest gun violence. Now, students around the world are targeting climate change — and if Friday's protests are any indicator, they don't plan on letting up any time soon.