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Christians urged to take a stand as millions protest against climate change

Millions of people around the world took to the streets on Friday to demand governments and companies take a stronger lead in cutting global carbon emissions.

Demonstrations took place in around 150 countries ahead of a UN summit in New York next week.

Inspired by 16 year-old activist Greta Thunberg, participants want countries to commit to a target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.

Organisers estimated 300,000 protesters in some of the first rallies held in Australia.

Members of Christian environmental charity A Rocha UK gathered with hundreds of people from Christian and secular groups to protest on Winchester high street.

Speaking to Premier from the demonstrations, A Rocha UK's head of conservation Andy Lester said he was happy to see the Church getting involved.

"It's fantastic to see Christians from all churches out here today demonstrating. We've got about 500 people, all ages - we've got kids as young as five and grandpas and grandmas into their 80s. So, it's a really good cross section of the town out today."

He went on to say why they think urgent action is required: "We are short of time, there is no 'planet B', there is no second chance, the time is now to take meaningful and concrete steps."

Lester said that the zero emission deadline was attainable if governments took it seriously.

"There's technology out there already. The challenge is the willpower, the government is simply not willing to take action to get to net zero."

A Rocha UK is urging Christians to engage with the climate crisis and use their voice to bring about change.

"When there are peaceful protests like this it's an opportunity to get out there and pray and make change. We're saying to all Christians, this is your opportunity to mobilise and join your community and make a stand. "

"We know around 1,500 churches are involved in these protests - but there's 54,000 other churches out there doing nothing, potentially.

"So we're saying to all those who are saying 'should we get involved?' The answer is yes."

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