Thousands of young people turned out in Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia and Bangladesh on Friday in a social media-driven show of solidarity with millions who were demonstrating across the globe against climate change.
Children and adults from 150 nations participated on the same day in so-called Global Climate Strikes, urging world leaders to act to save the planet from global warming. The hashtag #Climate Strike helped fuel the mass demonstrations, which unfolded three days before leaders were to meet in New York at a U.N. summit on climate change.
“I want to do something for the future generations of the world. It frustrates me to see the world dying and doing nothing about it. I want to do something that could help save the lives of future children and the world,” Marlena Wilson, 17, a student at the Berkeley International School in Bangkok, who was one of the leaders of a climate strike there, told BenarNews.
In the Thai capital, about 200 school children, parents and activists chanted “We want climate justice … now!” before handing an open letter to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment demanding that the government declare a climate emergency.
After receiving the letter, Adisorn Nuchdamrong, the ministry’s deputy permanent-secretary, said the government was committed to the environment and would ban plastic shopping bags, starting next year.
In Manila and other cities in the Philippines, locals braved heavy rain to participate in peaceful protests at the University of the Philippines and other college campuses across the country.
“I joined this strike because my generation would be the one most affected by climate change,” said Rio Constantino, 21, a member of the organization 350.org.
“I hope that by joining this activity in solidarity with all of these other people, we can inspire and trigger more actions to fight climate change.”
Similar rallies took place in Jakarta and Dhaka on Friday.
Jojo Riñoza and Eli Sepe in Manila, Pimuk Rakkanam in Bangkok, Afriadi Hikmal in Jakarta and Megh Monir in Dhaka contributed to this report.