BILLY Connolly backed climate strikers yesterday as thousands of young Scots joined a global wave of protest.

The comic was amongst the crowds in Glasgow, while marches were also held in Edinburgh and Aberdeen and others took to the streets in Dundee, St Andrews, Iona, Skye and more.

Councils had been urged not to penalise pupils staying away from classes to join in action inspired by teen climate activist Greta Thunberg, from Sweden.

Giving his take on the activism, Connolly told the Evening Times: “I think it’s brilliant. You can rely on these young people to do the right thing – get them off that boring Brexit and talk about the real things.”

The National: Climate strikers took to the streets of GlasgowClimate strikers took to the streets of Glasgow

The events took place amidst unseasonably warm weather.

Participants aim to draw attention to rising temperatures and other environmental threats to press global governments into taking coordinated action.

In Glasgow, Anna Warren, 18, said: “This is where we can all come together to call on the government to make changes. It is such a broad thing because it allows everybody to join, it allow everybody to come and help us, and join the movement.”

Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie told that city’s rally: “This younger generation is giving the leadership that my generation has failed to show.

“These people know that their future is in peril and there is hope if this generation can take the political power that it’s capable of on a day like this.”

He went on: “I think Greta Thunberg’s actions in starting this off on a really, really small basis, but with persistence and with clarity, just continuing to give leadership and inspiration to the world. It’s been amazing and it really gives me inspiration and hope for the future.

“You look around the world at the problems that we’re facing at the moment, you’d be forgiven for pulling the duvet over you, curling into a ball and trying to ignore the problems the world is facing.

“But if a generation likes this discovers its political power by acting together, recognising that we need system change if we’re going to prevent climate change, then there is real hope.”

READ MORE: Scotland is leading by example on tackling the climate crisis

Police in the city were unable to give attendance estimates and the council said it was unable to comment.

But there were 15,000 on the march in Edinburgh, with singing and chanting heard as they made their way from the Meadows to Holyrood Park, across from the Scottish Parliament.

The crowds packed out the Royal Mile as they made their way to the rally site near Holyrood.

The Scottish Government said it was “pleased to see our young people actively engaging on the issue of climate change” and insisted it is “leading by example” after Nicola Sturgeon declared a climate emergency and announced a raft of eco-actions earlier this month.

A spokesman said: “The global climate emergency and a Green New Deal for Scotland are at the centre of our Programme for Government.

“We are leading by example through bold actions. We are redoubling our efforts and we will end Scotland’s contribution to global climate change by 2045.”

The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), Scotland’s largest teaching union, urged councils not to punish youngsters taking part in the strikes.

General secretary Larry Flanagan said: “Whilst the EIS is not encouraging pupils/students to participate in anti-climate change strikes, we recognise that many will do so.

“We believe that their right to do so should be respected and that participants should not be sanctioned or punished as a consequence.

“If we are to encourage our pupils to be confident individuals that effectively contribute to society on global themes including sustainability, we shouldn’t seek to punish them when they campaign for global sustainability.”

Commenting on the response to her climate campaign, 16-year-old Thunberg said: “This could only be a fantasy. I would never have predicted or believed that this was going to happen.

“I’m so pleased with everything, it’s just such a victory.”