Thousands of Aussies at climate marches

Climate change activists during the People's Climate March held in Canberra on Sunday. AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

Climate change activists during the People’s Climate March held in Canberra on Sunday. AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

Perth [AAP]

Tens of thousands of protesters have marched through Australian capital cities over three days to urge world leaders to take action on climate change ahead of a United Nations summit.

Doctors, firefighters, Aboriginal elders, religious leaders and young families were among the crowds calling on governments to keep temperatures from rising by more than two degrees Celsius.

Some of the signs read ‘There is no Planet B’ and ‘Climate change is poverty’.

Sydney attracted the biggest crowd of 45,000 people on Sunday, while about 40,000 marched in Melbourne on Friday, followed by 10,000 in Brisbane on Saturday, as part of the worldwide protest.

Rallies were also held in Perth, Adelaide, Hobart and Canberra on Sunday, as global leaders travelled to Paris.

In Sydney, deputy federal Opposition leader Tanya Plibersek accused the prime minister of hypocrisy for lecturing other countries about climate change ahead of the conference.

‘Malcolm Turnbull is going to Paris with Tony Abbott’s policies,’ she told reporters.

‘He’s stopped on the way [in Malta] to lecture other leaders on doing more, when we’re actually doing less.’

Federal Labor MP Gai Brotmann told AAP in Canberra that people were sending a strong message to the Turnbull government.

Among the speakers in Perth was United Firefighters Union of Australia WA branch president Kevin Jolly, who acknowledged recent victims of bushfires in Australia.

Mr Jolly told the crowd of about 5,000 people that bushfire seasons were starting earlier and there were not enough resources to match the risks.

‘There is a saying in our industry, “there are no sceptics on the end of a fire hose”,’ he said.

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