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PHOTOS: Thousands of students turn out around the country for climate strikes

Ireland’s strikes are part of a global movement calling for urgent action to address climate change.

Updated Sep 20th 2019, 3:15 PM

9757 Global Climate Strike_90580774 Protesters as they march towards Government Building in Dublin today Source: Leah Farrell via RollingNews.ie

THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE around the country are taking part in strikes to demand more action from the government on climate change. 

Inspired by activist Greta Thunberg, students from schools and colleges across Ireland have taken to the streets to demand action on climate change. 

This is the third climate strike in several months, after similar action in March and May.

Green issues have been pushed to the forefront of political conversation in Ireland in the last year, inspired in part by the work of Thunberg. 

Protests have been taking place today in Dublin, Cork, Waterford, Galway, Louth as well as other areas around the country. 

In Dublin, students began gathering at Custom House Quay at 12pm before marching to Merrion Square, beside government buildings. 

“We strike not just for ourselves but for the entire planet. Today we stand in solidarity not just with our fellow strikers around the world but for all those who cannot strike. We stand united in solidarity because without our unity, we are nothing,” student speaker Chaya Smyth told the crowd gathered in Merrion Square. 

Today, thousands of us stand here in Dublin, surrounded by thousands more across the country, and millions worldwide. 

“Today we strike alongside these people globally to ensure one thing, our future,” the 14-year-old said. 

We came out today because our voices have not been heard and we’re going to make them heard. This is a crisis and no one is acting. 

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9973 Global Climate Strike_90580794 Protesters outside Government Buildings today. Source: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

global-climate-strike Sadhbh O'Connell (10,) joined other protestors gathering outside the Custom House earlier today. Source: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

In a statement earlier today, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton said that he had “heard the voices of those protesting today”.

Bruton is travelling to New York today ahead of a meeting of a key UN summit on Monday on climate change. He will also attend a youth climate action summit on Saturday led by Thunberg. 

“They have a message for governments but also for every sector of society. Now is the time to take action and protect their future,” he added. 

Students in Dublin held a moment of silence at 11 minutes to 2pm to highlight that “we only have 11 years left to save our planet”. 

Global strike

climate-strike Students come face to face with a police cordon at the junction of Whitehall Place and Northumberland Avenue during the UK Student Climate Network's Global Climate Strike in Whitehall, London. Source: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire/PA Images

climate-strike Protestors hold a 'die-in' at the UK Student Climate Network's Global Climate Strike in Cambridge. Source: PA Wire/PA Images

climate-strike-day-in-krakow-poland-20-sep-2019 Activists in Krakow, Poland march during the global climate strike. Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

philippines-climate-protests Environmental activists, mostly students, display their message in front of a human globe. Manila, Philippines Source: Bullit Marquez/AP/Press Association Images

Ireland’s strikes are part of a global movement calling for urgent action to address climate change. Demonstrations are expected to take place in 156 countries around the world in the coming days. 

Yelling slogans and waving placards, children and adults across Asia and the Pacific kicked off the protests today, which spread later to Africa and Europe.

Organisers have forecast one million participants overall.

In Australia alone, they said more than 300,000 children, parents and supporters rallied.

The changing environment has become a daily fact of life in Australia, struck in recent years by droughts, more intense bushfires, devastating floods and the blanching of the Great Barrier Reef.

Numerous peer-reviewed scientific studies have shown a link between human-made gas emissions and climate change.

But the protests also laid bare resistance from those who question the threat.

Australian ruling coalition parliamentarian Craig Kelly on Thursday warned children that “everything you’re told is a lie”.

“The facts are, there is no link between climate change and drought, polar bears are increasing in number.”

global-climate-strike-melbourne Large crowds march during the The Global Strike 4 Climate rally in Melbourne, Australia Source: AAP/PA Images

global-climate-strike-berlin Protestors take to the streets of Berlin as part of the global climate strike. Source: DPA/PA Images

afghanistan-climate-strike 'Fridays for Future': Climate strike rally, in Kabul, Afghanistan. Source: Ebrahim Noroozi/AP/Press Association Images

An increasing number of businesses have backed the protests.

Amazon chief Jeff Bezos yesterday pledged to make the US technology and retail giant carbon neutral by 2040 and encourage other firms to do likewise.

Meanwhile, Youth Climate Summit will take place at the United Nations tomorrow. 

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will then host an emergency summit on Monday in which he will urge world leaders to raise their commitments made in the 2015 Paris climate accord.

With reporting by Adam Daly, Dominic McGrath and - © AFP 2019

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