Updated Sep 20, 2019

In photos: Youth climate protests take over the world

Students protesting climate change in Manila, Philippines. Photo: Ezra Acayan/Getty Images

Millions of young people across 150 countries are protesting climate change on Friday, with many students skipping school to participate, the Washington Post reports.

What's next: The protests come days before world leaders are set to meet at a climate summit at the United Nations. UN Secretary-General António Guterres wants leaders to come with actionable plans and not empty promises, per the Post.

The backdrop: The Friday for Future protests began in 2018 when Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg went on strike from school on Fridays. Since then, Thunberg has become the face of youth climate protests and advocacy.

In New York City: Thunberg led the protests. The main protests were scheduled for noon, but protesters gathered early, per the New York Times. Leading up to the protests, New York City announced its 1.1 million students are allowed to skip school to participate.

Students walk out of school to take part in a march to demand action on the global climate crisis in New York City. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

In Germany: At least 500 protests are planned across Germany as German Chancellor Angela Merkel prepares to unveil a new climate protection package. Her government has been under increasing pressure to take action after a summer of heatwaves, per the Post.

Participants in the Fridays For Future movement protest during a nationwide climate change action day in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany Photo: Carsten Koall/Getty Images

In Australia: The first wave of demonstrations started in Australia, with more than 300,000 protesters marching across more than 110 towns and cities, according to the School Strike 4 Climate. Protesters demanded no fossil fuels and 100% renewable energy.

Student demonstrators and thousands of environmentalists gather holding banners on a demonstration during Climate Strike in Melbourne, Australia. Photo: Recep Sakar/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

In Indonesia: Students and protesters gathered to call for action against the fires that burned through nearly 800,000 acres around the country, per the Post. The smoke is causing health problems, endangering wildlife and is spreading to nearby Malaysia.

Young protesters are seen holding a climate emergency banner and placards during a "Fridays for Future" demonstration in Jakarta, Indonesia. Photo: Afriadi Hikmal/NurPhoto/Getty Images

In the United Kingdom: Thousands of protesters and students gathered across the country. Students staged a "die-in" in Belfast, Ireland, per BBC. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn plans to speak with protesters in Westminster.

Climate activists block Whitehall during a sit-in as thousands of students, school children and workers turn out for a Global Climate Strike in central London. Photo: Amer Ghazzal/Barcroft Media/Getty Images

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Photo from Greta Thunberg's 2018 climate strike shows massive growth over a year

Greta Thunberg. Left: Michael Campanella/Getty Images. Right: Reuters

On the left, on Aug. 2018, 15-year-old Greta Thunberg holds a climate strike with a sign reading "School strike for the climate" outside the Swedish parliament. Only a few other students joined her.

Driving the news: At right, Greta Thunberg, now 16, speaks to a huge crowd in Manhattan on Friday as millions of young people flooded streets around the world to demand political leaders take urgent steps to stop climate change. New York City announced its 1.1 million students were allowed to skip school to participate.

Go deeperArrowSep 21, 2019

In photos and video: Climate protests snarl D.C.'s morning commute

Environmental activists hold a sign in a D.C. street. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Climate activists disrupted Washington, D.C.'s Monday morning commute by blocking key intersections to protest "the systems that created and perpetuate the climate crisis," per Shut Down D.C., the protest group that organized the strike.

The big picture: The organizers planned the shutdown on the same day that the United Nations hosts global leaders for its climate change summit at the UN General Assembly.

In photos: Unrest in Barcelona after Spain jails Catalan separatists

Barcelona firefighters put out blazes during protests on Wednesday. Photo: Robert Marquardt/Getty Images

Barcelona's streets were ablaze Wednesday night, as police and protesters clashed after thousands turned out for a third day to rally for independence from Spain, Reuters reports.

The big picture: Peaceful protests against Spain’s Supreme Court sentencing of 9 Catalan separatist leaders this week to 9–13 years in prison for charges including sedition erupted into violence, with reports of riot police firing tear gas and activists throwing petrol bombs and torching cars, per the Guardian.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Oct 17, 2019