PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Thousands of young adults joined the fight for climate change action and awareness at a rally at Philadelphia’s City Hall. Activists from various groups joined in the Youth Climate Strike Rally on Friday.
“We’re trying to show the generation in power that young people are here, we deserve a seat at the table, we’re going to bear the brunt of what the climate crisis is going to bring and this is supposed to be a show of support and a launch board for all of our different groups’ campaigns to combat the climate crisis,” rally organizer Vyshnavi Kosigishroff said.
“The students and the youth have been so inspiring about fighting to solve a problem that adults really should have solved years ago,” activist Arthur Stamoulas said.
Demonstrations like the one in Philadelphia took place worldwide as millions of people marched to demand urgent action on climate change.
In New York City, they held signs and chanted as young people missed school for the event.
“Today’s climate strike in New York City has three main demands: no fossil fuels in democracies, government, business and media, a just transition to 100% renewable energy and third demand is hold polluters accountable,” 6-year-old organizer Azalea Danes said.
Youth-led climate strikes were held in more than 1,000 locations across the United States. The demonstrations are inspired by teenage Swedish activist Greta Thunberg’s Friday for Future movement.
The protests come three days before the United Nations Climate Summit in New York.
“In three days, the UN will be holding a summit where a bunch of youth activists are going to be speaking on fighting the climate crisis,” Kosigishroff said.
Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators took part in massive rallies across Australia, demanding a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Protesters also gathered in Kenya as experts say Africa is the most vulnerable continent to climate change.
It was also a similar scene in India.
“I think this is the most important issue that we need to be talking about. Forget politics. Forget society. The political and social narrative of this country needs to be representing the scenario of climate change right now,” student activist Aman Sharma said.
Global organizers say the only way to defeat climate change is if the whole world works together.
The New York City Department of Education allowed students to miss school if they have parental permission to attend today’s rally but students in some of the other countries will get unexcused absences for attending.
CBS3’s Natasha Brown contributed to this report.