Crowds flock to Bristol to witness climate activist Greta Thunberg

PUBLISHED: 10:56 28 February 2020 | UPDATED: 13:36 28 February 2020

Environmental activists gather ahead of the Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate protest at College Green in Bristol. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire.

Environmental activists gather ahead of the Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate protest at College Green in Bristol. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire.

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Crowds are flocking to the centre of Bristol to witness 17-year-old climate change activist Greta Thunberg.

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A poster depicting environmental activist Greta Thunberg which has been pasted to a bus shelter ahead of the Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate protest in Bristol. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire.A poster depicting environmental activist Greta Thunberg which has been pasted to a bus shelter ahead of the Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate protest in Bristol. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire.

Thunberg founded the school strike movement by sitting in solitude outside the Swedish parliament in 2018 and has since inspired millions across the world.

She is to be joined on stage by Mya-Rose Craig, 17, who recently became the youngest person in the UK to be awarded an honorary doctorate.

Mya-Rose was given the honour by the University of Bristol for using her platform as a world-leading ornithologist to call for greater diversity in the wildlife and conservation sectors.

She predicted a "huge Bristol welcome" for Thunberg.

Environmental activists gather for the Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate protest at College Green in Bristol. Photograph: Aaron Chown/PA WireEnvironmental activists gather for the Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate protest at College Green in Bristol. Photograph: Aaron Chown/PA Wire

Speaking to the PA news agency, she said: "As a young environmentalist, I am even more ecstatic about Greta Thunberg coming to Bristol and I'm looking forward to us giving her a huge Bristol welcome.

"In 2018, Bristol was the first city to declare a climate emergency and also the first to declare an ecological emergency just four weeks ago.

"I am enormously excited and honoured to be sharing a stage with Greta, as well as demanding immediate and substantial action from governments around the world on climate and species extinction, as well as the need to interest young people of all ethnicities in the fight to save the planet.

"Greta has been amazing in her campaigning."

Greta Thunberg. Picture: PA Images / Ben Birchall.Greta Thunberg. Picture: PA Images / Ben Birchall.

Dr Eunice Lo, a climate scientist at the University of Bristol, also paid tribute to Greta's work.

"Young people are rightfully demanding more climate action from governments and nations," Dr Lo said.

"They will be bearing the consequences of climate change in the future if there is inadequate action.

"Greta Thunberg has made an incredible impact on people's attitudes to climate change.

Environmental activists gather ahead of the Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate protest at College Green in Bristol. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire.Environmental activists gather ahead of the Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate protest at College Green in Bristol. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire.

"Her striking has inspired millions of young people around the world to join her.

"These are children who cannot vote yet but they are making such a difference in terms of urging parents to change their habits and asking governments to be more responsible to the environment."

Dr Lo said Bristol was a great location for Greta to visit, given the city had been the first to declare a climate emergency.

Bristol University was also the first UK university to declare a climate emergency.

Environmental activists gather ahead of the Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate protest at College Green in Bristol. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire.Environmental activists gather ahead of the Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate protest at College Green in Bristol. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire.

The city is proposing a diesel car ban and aims to become carbon neutral and resilient by 2030.

"In many ways, I think Bristol is leading climate efforts, especially within the UK," Dr Lo said.

"I think Greta coming will further inspire our young people and hopefully the people in power to do more."

As she arrived at Bristol Temple Meads station, disembarking a train on her own, Thunberg told Bristol Live the climate movement in the city was "strong".

Environmental activists gather ahead of the Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate protest at College Green in Bristol. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire.Environmental activists gather ahead of the Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate protest at College Green in Bristol. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire.

Asked why she had chosen to visit Bristol particularly, she said: "Many different reasons, the movement is very strong here and I had contact with people who were here."

She said she hoped the event would be a "gathering of people standing together in solidarity".

Environmental activists gather ahead of the Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate protest at College Green in Bristol. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire.Environmental activists gather ahead of the Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate protest at College Green in Bristol. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire.

Environmental activists gather ahead of the Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate protest at College Green in Bristol. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire.Environmental activists gather ahead of the Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate protest at College Green in Bristol. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire.

Environmental activists gather ahead of the Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate protest at College Green in Bristol. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire.Environmental activists gather ahead of the Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate protest at College Green in Bristol. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire.

Environmental activists gather ahead of the Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate protest at College Green in Bristol. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire.Environmental activists gather ahead of the Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate protest at College Green in Bristol. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire.

Environmental activists gather ahead of the Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate protest at College Green in Bristol. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire.Environmental activists gather ahead of the Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate protest at College Green in Bristol. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire.

Environmental activists gather ahead of the Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate protest at College Green in Bristol. Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA WireEnvironmental activists gather ahead of the Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate protest at College Green in Bristol. Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Environmental activists gather ahead of the Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate protest at College Green in Bristol. Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA WireEnvironmental activists gather ahead of the Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate protest at College Green in Bristol. Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

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