Thousands of Danish schoolkids take part in global climate strike

School children across Denmark took part in the global climate strike movement on Friday.

Thousands of Danish schoolkids take part in global climate strike
School children at the Climate Strike demonstration in Copenhagen. Photo: Nils Meilvang/Ritzau Scanpix

Signs and banners held in public squares across the country called for political and civic action on climate.

In uncompromising weather in Copenhagen, thousands came out to attend the protest at City Hall Square (Rådhuspladsen).

The demonstration in the capital included speeches from a string of activists and organizations including Kenyan group Nafsi Youngsters, Amnesty International Denmark and the Danish Grandparents’ Climate Action (Bedsteforældrenes Klimaaktion).

Danish participants in the SMILE project, which gathers young climate activists from across Europe, also spoke about their experiences attending an international summer camp.

Earlier this year, Denmark saw a similar level of engagement in the Fridays for Future movement, which was started by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg in 2018.

READ ALSO: The Local meets Greta Thunberg during her very first climate strike

At least 19 cities across Denmark took part in Friday’s demonstrations, according to DR.

Fridays for Future Denmark coordinator Selma Montgomery told the broadcaster that the new government’s climate target of a 70 percent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030 could be even more ambitious, even if 100 percent was not possible without changing societal structure.

“But (that means) we must change the way society is organized,” she said to DR.

Speakers at Friday’s demonstration in Copenhagen called specifically for reductions in Danish oil drilling in the North Sea and for the country’s agricultural sector to move away from meat production.

READ ALSO: Thousands of young Danes take part in climate strike at parliament

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Thousands of young Danes take part in climate strike at parliament

School children and students from across Denmark took part in global protests over climate change on Friday.

Thousands of young Danes take part in climate strike at parliament
Photo: Tariq Mikkel Khan/Ritzau Scanpix

Young people went on strike from lessons to gather in 32 towns and cities across the country, including in front of the national parliament at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen.

Over 10 times more people attended Friday’s demonstration than recent climate protests on February 1st, newspaper Politiken reports.

Several thousand school children and students stayed away from classes in order to make clear to politicians how highly they prioritise the issue of climate change.

The Danish demonstration is part of the global school strike movement for climate dubbed Fridays for Future. The movement was started by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, who this week received a Nobel Peace Prize nomination.

Upper secondary school student Adrian Preisler, who is 18, was one of the organisers of the Christiansborg demonstration. Preisler told Politiken he was taking part because “this is my my future and everyone else’s future, and not something we can just play around with.”.

“And I think that there are some politicians here at Christiansborg just in front of us who simply don’t do enough on climate,” he added.

Politicians from the environmentalist Alternative party tweeted about the demonstration, including leader Uffe Elbæk, who wrote that he was present with “three generations”.

Sofie Carsten Nielsen, acting political leader of the Social Liberal (Radikale Venstre), accompanied her son to the event.

“I am so proud of him. They have prepared. They are sticking together. He is 12 years old and means this seriously,” Carsten Nielsen tweeted.

Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen also made an appearance at the demonstration and spoke to some of the striking school students.

“It is incredibly good to see our young people getting involved,” the PM said in an interview with TV2 News.

Rasmussen denied his government was failing to do enough on climate change.

“I think we are (acting). We are well on the way. We are on the way to being involved, but the international climate battle cannot be won in Denmark,” he said.

READ ALSO: Danish government asked us not to criticise: former climate council leader