Finnish youth join global climate strike

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Young demonstrators gather on the steps of the Helsinki Cahtedral before the protest march of Finnish youths calling for climate protection in Helsinki, on March 15, 2019. (Heikki Saukkomaa/AFP/Getty Images)
Finnish young people joined a global climate strike on Friday, urging politicians and decision-makers to take action to prevent climate breakdown.

The strikes, inspired by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, took place in at least 27 municipalities around the country. Thunberg cites last year’s IPCC report suggesting there are only twelve years left to take action to prevent catastrophic climate change.

“To have any chance of avoiding that extreme danger emissions must drop rapidly – so that by the time we will be in our mid- and late-20s we are living in a transformed world,” wrote Thunberg and other young climate activists in a Guardian opinion piece published on Friday.

Organisers estimate that actions were planned on Friday in more than a hundred countries worldwide.

Police said around 3,000 marchers gathered in downtown Helsinki on Friday morning, carrying banners and chanting, as they marched through the city centre towards Parliament House.

Around 3,000 protesters gathered in downtown Helsinki Friday morning for a global climate strike. (Emma Pietarila/Yle)

As they walked, the loud group of students yelled chants, demanding “climate action!” in unison with some protesters enthusiastically beating handheld drums. One of the students was seen holding a large green sign that read “the greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it,” while another read “I want a cute guy, not a cute climate change.”

Not only students participated in the Helsinki climate march. Mothers and fathers were seen walking with the procession, pushing prams and carrying their children aloft on their shoulders as they walked down Aleksanterinkatu.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: The Arctic ‘locked-in’ for 3 to 5 °C temperature rise, UN report warns, Radio Canada International

Finland: Teen protesters in Helsinki demand climate action, Yle News

Norway: Urgent action needed to protect Arctic Ocean, WWF says, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Russia’s quest for Arctic resources unhindered by climate crisis, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Thousands in Sweden join Greta Thunberg for worldwide climate strike, Radio Sweden

United States: Industry launches campaign to free oceans from plastic… how serious is it?, Alaska Public Media

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