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French students to join global protest over climate 'inaction'

AFP  |  Paris 

French school children are set to skip school and demand action on climate change on Friday, following the example of other young demonstrators around Europe and in Australia for the first time.

The students have called for a rally outside the environment ministry to urge the government to "declare a state of ecological and social emergency", organisers said on Facebook.

Environment Minister Francois de Rugy voiced support for the demonstration.

"I would rather have protesters outside my ministry saying 'we're not doing enough for the environment, we need to act more quickly and boldly' -- which is exactly what I think -- than people saying 'stop, stop, we're going too fast and too far'," he said.

The student action comes ahead of a global climate strike by youngsters on March 15 inspired by 16-year-old Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg.

She first grabbed the spotlight in August when she began staging "school strikes for the climate", skipping classes on Fridays to protest outside the Swedish parliament.

Students in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands have already staged marches in recent weeks to raise awareness of climate change.

Youth for Climate France said students in more than 40 French cities would take part in the March 15 strike in protest at adults "who do nothing" to tackle climate change.

"We, high-school, college and university students, will not remain silent while the majority of adults do nothing. Our future is at stake," it said in a statement Thursday.

"Nobody wants to study or work for a future which doesn't exist. Everyone can do their bit, but if our futures are destroyed by the inaction of adults, our efforts will be in vain.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, February 15 2019. 20:51 IST