Climate marches attract over 100,000 across France

Demonstration organisers say that the climate march was one of the biggest ever in France

Over 100,000 people have marched in climate change protests around France this weekend, according to protest organiser, the NGO 350.org.

Marches took place on Saturday (September 8) in Paris and in major cities, with 350.org hailing the event as "the biggest demonstration for climate ever organised in France".

Tens of thousands of people marched in Paris alone - from Place de l’Hôtel-de-Ville to la Place de la République - with over 18,500 police mobilised for security.

According to 350.org, the Paris event attracted over 50,000 people, with police estimates at 18,500.

In Lyon, 10,000 people - according to police and organisers - showed up, while Toulouse saw 8,000-12,000 (police estimated 3,500), and Lille had 4,600 (police: 4,000).

In Marseille, around 2,500 people marched (police: 700), along with La France Insoumise leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon. In Bordeaux, thousands of people walked 3km to the site of the Climax eco-friendly festival.

In Rennes, organisers and police agreed that 3,000-5,000 people showed up, while in Nantes, there were 1,200; and 3,800 in Strasbourg.

Marches were also seen in Rouen, Caen, and Le Havre.

The events were prompted after a Facebook post from 27-year-old Frenchman Maxime Lelong, following the shock departure of former ecology minister, Nicolas Hulot, on August 28.

Mr Lelong wrote: “I am about to become a father (of a son) in December, and I would like my son to have a livable planet.”

The marches were also mounted on the back of an international action campaign, called “Rise for Climate”, which also prompted many other marches for action on the climate around the world this weekend, including in San Francisco, Sydney, Lima, and beyond.

Clémence Dubois, manager of the 350.org campaigns in France, said: “This is the largest day of action for the climate in France, and it is proof that citizens are ready to hold politicians to account, after a catastrophic summer for the climate.”

Ultimately, the marches are asking governments to take a serious stand against climate change, ahead of the global climate change summit that is set to take place in San Francisco in mid-September.

The 24th global conference on climate, COP24, is also set to take place soon: in December, in Poland.

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