Environmental activists clashed with police in Milan on Thursday on the sidelines of a youth climate summit.
Delegates to the Youth4Climate summit discussed the climate crisis with politicians including Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Italian President Sergio Mattarella.
Meanwhile dozens of activists held a demonstration in front of the conference centre. A video of the protest showed demonstrators clashing with the police, who used batons against the crowd.
Others activists blocked traffic by lying down in the streets until they were removed by police officers.
Some of the protesters briefly entered the conference centre to protest ahead of Draghi’s speech.
The event, organized jointly by the Italian and British governments, was intended as preparation for the COP26 climate change conference, which is due to take place in Glasgow later this year.
Draghi reiterated that the world must show more commitment in the fight against climate change.
Responding to criticism by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who recently lambasted politicians for their “blah, blah, blah” rather than meaningful action, Draghi said: “Sometimes it takes that blah blah to convince everyone.”
Big goals can only be achieved together, he said, adding that he was optimistic that leaders were “absolutely convinced that this is time to act, to act quickly”.
Later Draghi met with Thunberg and other climate activists in private for a face-to-face discussion.