Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg joined thousands of protesters on the streets of Lausanne, Switzerland Friday ahead a summit for the world's business and political leaders in Davos that kicks off Tuesday.
Thunberg, whose solo protests outside the Swedish Parliament in 2018 sparked the global Fridays for Future movement, is among a group of young climate activists who are expected to attend the annual World Economic Forum event, which will focus on "stakeholders for a cohesive and sustainable world."
The youth activists are planning to attend the Davos summit to demand that "participants from all companies, banks, institutions, and governments immediately halt all investments in fossil fuel exploration and extraction, immediately end all fossil fuel subsidies, and immediately and completely divest from fossil fuels."
Those demands were published in the Guardian last week on the same day that global climate groups launched the "Stop the Money Pipeline" campaign to pressure banks, insurers, and asset managers to cut ties with planet-destroying companies. Thunberg echoed those sentiments in her address to the crowd in Lausanne.
"We are now in a new year, and we have entered a new decade, and so far, during this decade, we have seen no signs whatsoever that real climate action is coming—and that has to change," the 17-year-old said. "For well over a year, young people from all across the globe have been school-striking for their right to a future every Friday."
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) January 17, 2020
"And for me personally, I think this is week 74 of Fridays for Future protests," Thunberg continued. "We sure have done this for a long time. But we need to make clear that this is just the beginning."
"To the world leaders, and those in power, I would like to say that you haven't seen anything yet," she declared, eliciting cheers from the crowd. "You have not seen the last of us—we can assure you that. And that is the message that we will bring to the World Economic Forum in Davos next week."
— Heidi.news (@heidi_news) January 17, 2020
Friday's march marked the one-year anniversary of climate strikes in Lausanne.
"The demonstrators sang 'Happy Birthday' to mark the occasion, before setting out on their march," reported SWI swissinfo.ch. "One year on, they still criticize what they see as inaction on the part of politicians and economic leaders. Their placards included 'Stop capitalism' and 'I have a green dream.'"
Other signs read: "There is no planet B, "We want a cooler planet," and "Wake up and smell the bushfires," a reference to ongoing blazes that have devastated millions of acres of Australia. Some marchers carried a banner which read, "Let's change the system, not the climate," and reportedly chanted: "One, two, three degrees! It's a crime against humanity!"
About 15,000 climate strikers came together for the protest in the city to demand that Swiss banks stop financing the fossil fuel industry, according to Klimastreik Schweiz, which organized Friday's march.
Applauding the "impressive demonstration" on Twitter, Swiss climate scientist Sonia I. Seneviratne reiterated experts' increasingly urgent warnings that science shows "there is an emergency" that "requires unprecedented changes in society."
Impressive demonstration! Science shows: There is an emergency if we want to limit global warming to 1.5°C & avoid further irreversible climate changes. Addressing this challenge requires unprecedented changes in society. See @IPCC_CH #SR15 conclusions: https://t.co/58JliwdGNT https://t.co/T2PRvRBvd7
— Sonia I. Seneviratne (@SISeneviratne) January 17, 2020
The march in Lausanne coincided with Fridays for Future events across the globe, from Germany, Ireland, and Pakistan, to Sweden, Sierra Leone, and Turkey. Many strikers drew attention to the bushfire crisis Australia.
Der Platz in Mainz zur heutigen Mittesüdwest-Demo füllt sich! Postet eure Bilder & Videos unter #DieUhrTickt.
Außerdem wird heute noch an 28 anderen Orten in ganz Deutschland gestreikt pic.twitter.com/lgvXjKoHpB
— Fridays For Future Germany (@FridayForFuture) January 17, 2020
— Jane Mellett (@Janemellett) January 17, 2020
— FridaysForFuture Pakistan (@Fridays4FutureP) January 17, 2020
Climate strike outside of the Swedish parliament again. The fires are still burning in Australia. Jakarta is flooded.
And it’s a Swedish January and warm enough for me not to wear gloves. Please act now politicians. #FridaysForFuture pic.twitter.com/5jHejVVL2i
— Isabelle Axelsson (@isabelle_ax) January 17, 2020
— Roseline Isata Mansaray (@IsataRoseline) January 17, 2020
#ClimateStrike Week 43
All in black today to mourn those suffering or dead from wildfires in Australia. Next, we'll be heading to the Australian Embassy in Istanbul for a #BushfireRebellion /// @GretaThunberg #StopAdani #SaveAustralia #fridaysforfuture #schoolstrike4climate pic.twitter.com/cDDgOWOT6U
— Deniz4Future (@CevikusHB) January 17, 2020