Greta Thunberg rallies UK school strikers

'Activism works': Greta Thunberg rallies UK school strikers

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. (AFP Photo)

Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg told tens of thousands of environmental protesters in Britain on Friday that "activism works" -- the day after plans for a third runway at London's Heathrow airport suffered a setback.

The Swedish eco-warrior visited Bristol, in southwestern England, for a so-called climate strike march attended by crowds of students skipping school in protest at perceived global inaction over climate change.

The 17-year-old has inspired millions of young people around the world by spearheading a movement since 2018 to demonstrate on Fridays in frustration at government efforts to tackle the issue.

"World leaders are behaving like children, so it falls on us to be the adults in the room," she said at a rally in Bristol.

"We must continue and we have to be patient," Thunberg added.

"If enough people are pushing for change, then change will come."

Britain's Court of Appeal on Thursday ruled in favour of environmental campaigners who oppose the building of a third runway at London's Heathrow airport, Europe's busiest.

The court said the UK government -- which approved the Heathrow extension in 2018 after years of delays -- had failed to take into account commitments to the Paris Agreement on limiting global warming.

However, Thunberg cited the rejection by local councillors earlier this month of plans to expand Bristol Airport -- which it had said would boost passenger capacity by two million a year -- in her rallying speech to activists.

"This is far from enough, but it shows that it does actually make a difference.

"Activism works. So I'm telling you to act."

Police in Bristol said there were more than 20,000 people at the protest, while organisers claimed the number was closer to 30,000.

Thunberg told Britain's domestic Press Association news agency she had chosen to visit the city of around 460,000 residents partly because "the movement is very strong here".

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