Thousands of mostly young people gathered Friday in Berlin to demand more action on climate change, part of a global day of action for the environment.
Defying gray skies, the participants, many on bicycles, brought placards and banners to a rally near the iconic Brandenburg Gate. Most wore face masks as a COVID-19 precaution. COVID-19 is the disease caused by the coronavirus.
Germany is a focal point for the demonstrations in Europe because it holds the six-month rotating presidency of the European Union, which together with Britain accounts for 22 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans.
The climate has made headlines around the world recently, from melting Arctic ice to record Siberian heat to wildfires in California and elsewhere.
German climate activist Luisa Neubauer told the crowd, "We're here because we know that climate justice is possible as long as we keep fighting for it. That's why we're here today."
The demonstration was one of 3,000 scheduled to be held around the world Friday, as part of the youth activist movement "Fridays for Future." COVID-19 restrictions forced many of the activities online.
In Stockholm, the person considered to be the founder of the movement, teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg, was in her usual location, in front of the Swedish parliament. She told a reporter the main goal of the protests was to raise awareness and sway public opinion on the urgency of climate issues.
She said, "We need to treat the climate crisis as a crisis. It's just as simple as that. The climate crisis has never once been treated as a crisis, and unless we treat it as a crisis, we won't be able to so-called 'solve' it.' "
In 2018, at age 15, Thunberg began skipping school on Fridays and going to the parliament to hold demonstrations for legislation on climate change. Soon, she was joined by others, and the protests eventually went viral through social media.