Italy’s Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio praised thousands of young environmental activists who missed school to join climate crisis protests in major cities on Friday. The protests were part of the latest worldwide wave of climate strikes to demand urgent action on the escalating ecological emergency.
“Today in the streets and squares of 180 Italian cities, hundreds of thousands of young people made an important choice – to protect the environment against climate,” Di Maio wrote on Facebook.
“They did so to safeguard their future and everybody’s,” added Di Maio, who heads Italy’s grassroots anti-establishment 5-Star Movement.
The left-leaning government is also taking action on climate change and a climate decree and bill to safeguard the seas are due to be approved by the cabinet “shortly”, he said.
“Taking concrete action is the only possible response to today’s young people’s high level of consciousness,” Di Maio wrote.
“These young people must be thanked and supported.”
A million people took party in Friday’s rallies in Italy and the biggest was in Rome, where 200,000 people marched, followed by around 150,000 in Milan according to the Fridays for Future youth movement, which organised the protests.
Friday’s marches came as world leaders wrap up the UN climate action summit in New York, where Italy’s Premier Giuseppe Conte urged his counterparts against “indifference” as news emerged that a massive portion of a Mont Blanc glacier risked collapse.
“This must shake us all and force us to mobilise,” Conte said.