No protests were authorized in China, the world’s biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions.
As day broke farther west, banners in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, ranged from serious to humorous. One read, “Climate Emergency Now.” Another said, “This planet is getting hotter than my imaginary boyfriend.”
Thousands turned out in Warsaw, in coal-reliant Poland, The Associated Press reported. The German police said several dozen activists had blocked a road in Frankfurt, the financial capital, while in Berlin, protesters blocked a bridge across the River Spree, according to The A.P.
Across Britain, there were large protests from Brighton to Birmingham, with the turnout in London especially large. “Guys this is really uncool,” one banner read.
In Mumbai, children in oversize raincoats marched in the rain. In the Indian capital, New Delhi, where air pollution is among the worst in the world, dozens of protesters gathered outside a government building. “I want to breathe clean” they chanted, The A.P. reported.
At a time of fraying trust in authority figures, the demands of children — who by definition have no authority over anything — are increasingly driving the debate over how to avert the most catastrophic impacts of climate change. Using the internet, they are organizing across continents like no generation before them. And though their vague, outsize demands for an end to fossil fuels mirror those of older environmentalists, their movement has captured the public imagination far more effectively.
“What’s unique about this is that young people are able to see their future is at risk today,” said Kumi Naidoo, the head of Amnesty International and a longtime campaigner for environmental issues. “I certainly hope this is a turning point.”