Students demonstrate during a 'Youth For Climate' strike urging pupils to skip classes to protest a lack of climate awareness in Lausanne, Switzerland, Friday, Jan. 18, 2019. (Valentin Flauraud/Keystone via AP)
BERLIN (AP) — Thousands of students held rallies Friday across Germany and Switzerland to protest the lack of action against climate change.
The demonstrations in dozens of cities were inspired by student Greta Thunberg , who has been staging a weekly "school strike" in Sweden. Many used the Twitter hashtag #FridaysForFuture to give their offline protests visibility online.
In Berlin, protesters focused on an upcoming political decision about when to end the use of coal in the country. Germany still relies heavily on lignite coal, a fossil fuel that produces large amounts of greenhouse gases that heat the atmosphere.
An expert panel is expected to publish non-binding recommendations later this month on how Germany can achieve the transition from using coal to using renewable energy in the coming decades.