Protesters unite against climate breakdown

Young protesters from around the world, including South Africa, are mobilising to demand an end to the age of fossil fuels.

Young climate strikers around the world called on their peers to disrupt business as usual in September by protesting against political decisions that do not favour the climate. Inspired by 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg and the Fridays for Future movement, activists organised protests in more than 150 countries around the world. 

The first Global Climate Strike was scheduled for 20 September, three days before an emergency United Nations climate summit in New York in the United States. The second for 27 September, in conjunction with Earth Strike’s general strike to save the planet.

The protesters want governments to stop burning fossil fuels and facilitate a rapid transition to renewable energy. In South Africa, protesters also want to highlight the need for the country to be more ambitious in general in developing strategies to combat climate change.

Strike organisers see the September marches as the start of sustained mass mobilisation, week after week, to pressure governments around the world to take accelerated action on climate change.

20 September 2019: A woman on the slopes of District 6 holds an elephant puppet at the Climate Strike in Cape Town. (Photograph by Barry Christianson).
20 September 2019: A woman on the slopes of District Six in Cape Town holds an elephant puppet at the climate strike in Cape Town. (Photograph by Barry Christianson).
20 Septermber 2019: Crosby Hlongwane, 34, part of Climate Strike march that began outside Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban and ended at Durban’s City Hall. (Photograph by Mlungisi Mbele)
20 September 2019: Crosby Hlongwane, 34, taking part in the climate protest march that began outside the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International centre in Durban and ended at City Hall. (Photograph by Mlungisi Mbele)
20 September 2019: Senamile Mlambo, 9, lead young women in the streets of Durban, as he chants the zulu song Sengibekezele kwaze kwasa ngibekezele, which is about about patience. (Photograph by Mlungisi Mbele)
20 September 2019: Nine-year-old Senamile Mlambo leading young women through the streets of Durban as he chants the Zulu song, Sengibekezele kwaze kwasa ngibekezele, about having patience. (Photograph by Mlungisi Mbele)
20 September 2019: Protesters gathering outside the Gauteng Legislature in Johannesburg to hand over a memorandum of climate demands. (Photograph by Gopolang Thage)
20 September 2019: Protesters gathering outside the Gauteng Legislature in Johannesburg to hand over a memorandum of climate demands. (Photograph by Gopolang Thage)
20 September 2019: Activists from the Philippi Horticultural Area Food and Farming Campaign at the Climate Strike in Cape Town’s CBD, draw attention to their struggle to preserve the environmental resource, the source of their livelihood. (Photograph by Barry Christianson)
20 September 2019: Activists from the Philippi Horticultural Area Food and Farming Campaign at the climate protest in Cape Town’s inner city drew attention to their struggle to preserve environmental resources, the source of their livelihood. (Photograph by Barry Christianson)
20 September 2019: Protesters gathering outside the headquarters of energy and chemical company Sasol in Sandton, Johannesburg, in solidarity with climate strikers around the world. The global climate strike was largely inspired by and led by the youth. (Photograph by James Puttick)
20 September 2019: Protesters gathering outside the headquarters of energy and chemical company Sasol in Sandton, Johannesburg, in solidarity with climate strikers around the world. The global climate strike was largely inspired by and led by the youth. (Photograph by James Puttick)
20 September 2019: The placards carried by environmental activists and concerned citizens in Durban indicate concern about much more than just the climate in South Africa. (Photograph by Mlungisi Mbele)
20 September 2019: The placards carried by environmental activists and concerned citizens in Durban indicate concern about much more than just the climate in South Africa. (Photograph by Mlungisi Mbele)
20 September 2019. The Johannesburg march from Parktown to the Gauteng Legislature. Protesters were scheduled to hand over a memorandum calling for the transition to low-carbon, renewable energy to be accelerated. (Photograph by Gopolang Thage)
20 September 2019. The Johannesburg march from Parktown to the Gauteng Legislature. Protesters were scheduled to hand over a memorandum calling for the transition to low-carbon, renewable energy to be accelerated. (Photograph by Gopolang Thage)
20 September 2019. Climate protesters gathering outside Sasol’s headquarters. The energy and chemicals company is one of the biggest carbon polluters in Africa. Its Secunda plant in Mpumalanga is the largest single-point carbon dioxide emitter in the world. (Photograph by James Puttick)
20 September 2019. Climate protesters gathering outside Sasol’s headquarters. The energy and chemicals company is one of the biggest carbon polluters in Africa. Its Secunda plant in Mpumalanga is the largest single-point carbon dioxide emitter in the world. (Photograph by James Puttick)
20 September 2019: The crowd of climate protesters outside the Parliament buildings in Cape Town. (Photograph by Barry Christianson).
20 September 2019: The crowd of climate protesters outside the Parliament buildings in Cape Town. (Photograph by Barry Christianson).
20 September 2019: Seven teenagers, learners from Manzomthombo Secondary School in Blue Downs hang out on the side lines of the global climate protest this week in Cape Town. (Photograph by Barry Christianson)
20 September 2019: Seven teenagers from Manzomthombo Secondary School in Blue Downs on the sidelines of the climate protest in Cape Town. (Photograph by Barry Christianson)
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