Organisers estimate 300,000 Australians have gathered at climate change rallies around the country in one of the largest protest events in the nation’s history.
- The protests are part of a global strike movement led by a 16-year-old Swedish activist
- More than 2,500 Australian businesses said they were participating in the strike
- More conservative estimates had the number closer to 180,000 demonstrators
The global day of action, led by Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg, is happening three days before the United Nations Climate Change Summit in New York.
Organisers say they expect millions of people to turn out worldwide in 150 countries.
In Australia, demonstrations took place in all eight capital cities as well as 104 other centres.
The Australian protesters called for the Federal Government to commit to:
- No new coal, oil or gas projects
- 100 per cent renewable energy generation and exports by 2030
- Funding for “a just transition and job creation for all fossil fuel industry workers and communities”
The movement has rallied behind 16-year-old Thunberg, who first started protesting alone outside Sweden’s Parliament last year.
Incredible pictures as Australia’s gathering for the
This is the huge crowd building up in Sydney.
Australia is setting the standard!
Its bedtime in New York…so please share as many pictures as you can as the strikes move across Asia to Europe and Africa!
As the Australian protests began she tweeted in support.
“Incredible pictures as Australia’s gathering for the #climatestrike This is the huge crowd building up in Sydney. Australia is setting the standard! Its bedtime in New York…so please share as many pictures as you can as the strikes move across Asia to Europe and Africa!”
The movement has been controversial in Australia, with some teachers being accused of bias and bringing politics into the classroom, and the Federal Government linking the demonstrations to flagging test results.
More than 2,500 Australian businesses took part, either closing their doors or allowing their employees to walk off the job.
The businesses signed on to Not Business As Usual, an alliance which said it was a “group of Australian and global businesses pledging to support worker participation in the climate strike”.
The exact number of demonstrators nationally was unclear, but more conservative estimates put the number closer to 180,000.
The centres of Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane were brought to a standstill as the protests snaked their way through CBD streets.