#NoMoreEmptyPromises: Thunberg joins climate protest in Stockholm

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Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg attends a rally Fridays for Future as part of "Global Day of Climate Action

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Climate activist Greta Thunberg took part in a protest under the banner of "No More Empty Promises" in central Stockholm on Friday, with protesters attending in shifts to avoid breaching coronavirus restrictions.

The youth movement Fridays for Future, which urges global leaders to listen to climate scientists and stop global warming, had called on children around the world to join a global online school strike on Friday.

Thunberg, who is 18 years old, sparked the global climate protest movement, including large protests, in 2018 by skipping school on Fridays to protest outside the Swedish parliament.

"Today is the global strike day and since it's not really possible to strike in big numbers in Sweden yet we are doing this action instead. We are striking in shifts so that we control the amount of people who are here," Thunberg told Reuters.

The protesters on Friday called on leaders to introduce and fulfil binding annual short-term carbon emission targets, rather than what they describe as vague and empty promises for far off dates but .

"What we need are not meaningless goals for 2050 or net-zero targets full of loopholes, but concrete and immediate action in-line with science," the movement said on its website.

Thunberg said the world was still not treating climate change like a crisis, unlike the COVID-19 epidemic.

"The first step must be to start treating it like a crisis and to just take in the full picture, to see this in a holistic point of view," she said. "Science says that we can still avoid the worst consequences. So it's possible, but it's not possible if we continue like today."

Sweden has banned public gatherings of more than eight people as part of its efforts to slow the pandemic.

(Reporting by Ilze Filks, writing by Anna Ringstrom; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)