Thousands of young people took to the streets worldwide on Friday March 15th, kicking off a global day of student protests that aims to push world leaders into action on climate change, AFP has reported.
Classrooms in capitals from Lagos to London are expected to be empty, as the organisers of the global student strike aim to stage 1,000 demos in more than 100 countries.
Students flooded into the streets in Wellington, Sydney, Bangkok and Hong Kong carrying placards that read: "There is no planet B", "You're destroying our future" and "If you don't act like adults, we will."
Abigail O'Regan, 20, who was marching in Wellington, told AFP: "This is young people taking the reins and realising that they do have people power. That's really awesome."
In Sydney, 18-year-old Edward Gay called for "100-percent renewable energy", arguing "that is the only way we are going to be saving lives in this country and all over the world."
Fellow protester, Charles Rickwood, 18, warned that if nothing is done, Australia's famous Great Barrier Reef could be destroyed.
"We'll see the one-, two-degrees increase in our ocean then it will simply become unsustainable and we could lose the entire Great Barrier Reef," he told AFP.
Parents of students in Christchurch in New Zealand were warned not to collect their offspring from the city centre during the lockdown after two crowded mosques were targeted in a mass shooting during Friday prayer.
The young activists, however, received encouragement earlier from New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who said it was important for the young generation to send a message.
"We hear you… Please keep bringing as many people as you can with you because we simply won't achieve our goals alone," the 38-year-old leader said in a statement.
The worldwide protests were inspired by Swedish teen activist, Greta Thunberg, who camped out in front of parliament in Stosckholm last year to demand action from world leaders on global warming.
"We are only seeing the beginning," tweeted Thunberg, who has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her activism. "I think that change is on the horizon and the people will stand up for their future."