New Delhi students demand climate action

Students in the Indian capital New Delhi, named as the world's most polluted capital city in 2018, missed classes on Friday (March 15) to demand more action on climate change.

“We need a breath of fresh air” and “Give back blue skies” were the messages written on their posters as they demanded political leaders act on the issue as a matter of urgency.

Earlier in March, IQ AirVisual, a Swiss-based group that gathers air-quality data globally and Greenpeace named the Indian capital as the most polluted in the world in 2018 based on a study of the amount of fine particulate matter known as PM2.5.

PM2.5, or particles of 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter, is so dangerous because it lodges deep in the lungs and can cause respiratory problems.

New Delhi’s toxic air is caused by vehicle and industrial emissions, dust from building sites, smoke from the burning of rubbish and crop residue in nearby fields.

Thousands of students in more than 40 countries were expected to participate in the international day of action, led by teenage Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg.

Thunberg, who has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, has promised that the school strikes will go on until politicians take firmer action against climate change.

(Production: Louisa Naks)

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