Today, millions of people across the world are being encouraged to join activist Greta Thunberg in demanding action on climate change and protest against global warming
Inspired by environmental activist Greta Thunberg, young people and adults around the world are being encouraged to strike to protest against global warming.
Two strikes have been planned, with the first strike taking place today, Friday 20 September. The second strike is being held on 27 September. The protests have been designed to coincide with the UN Emergency Climate Action Summit in New York on 23 September.
UN Secretary-General, António Guterres calls for leaders to come to New York with “concrete, realistic plans to enhance their nationally determined contributions by 2020, in line with reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45% over the next decade, and to net-zero emissions by 2050.”
What is the climate strike?
The climate strike follows on from the nationwide protests which took place earlier this year, whereby thousands of students across the UK called for the government to stand up and make tackling climate change a priority.
This time, the eco-activists have asked adults to join in their demonstrations. After all, this isn’t only affecting the younger generation. All of us are responsible for making a change.
Activist Greta Thunberg inspired the global movement in 2018, when instead of going to school on Fridays, she would picket outside of the Swedish parliament to raise awareness of global warming. This inspired the Fridays for Future movement, which then evolved into the Youth Strike for Climate movement.
So far, the government has been called upon to “declare a state of climate emergency” and make changes to the national curriculum to include education about climate change.
“Climate change is the biggest issue of our time, and it must be a part of our education if our generation is to understand it and help us to combat its effects. That’s why we want climate change to be made a core part of the national curriculum,” wrote students Izzy Lewis, Rasha Alsouleman, Lucy Gibbons and Kamila Chamcham in their climate change petition earlier this year.
“If young people like us are going to have any kind of future, the climate emergency must be a central, core part of our compulsory curriculum.”
Today, the Global Climate Strike movement calls for young people and adults all over the world to join the movement and “disrupt business”, whether that be by protesting, or raising awareness in their local communities.
“This September, millions of us will walk out of our workplaces and homes to join young climate strikers on the streets and demand an end of the age of fossil fuels,” says Global Climate Strike.
“Our house is on fire - let’s act like it. We demand climate justice for everyone.”
Who is taking part?
Strikes are taking place all over the world, including America, Australia and Germany. Protests are being held across the UK, including Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow. The main strike kicks off at 11am in Millbank, Westminster.
Supporting Global Climate Strike include the Trades Union Congress (TUC), UNISON, the National Education Union (NEU), Unite, and a number of UK universities.
Brands are also supporting the movement. Reusable cup brand, KeepCup, are closing all offices today in support of the strikes. In their customer newsletter, they wrote: “The Amazon is burning. Siberia is burning. The Australian rainforest is burning. Greta Thunberg is right - it’s time to act like the house is on fire.”
“This is a call to governments and businesses to set strong climate agendas that quickly transition us from the old fossil fuel economy to 100% renewables. This is a call for a biodiverse future.”
Why go on #ClimateStrike?
“Our hotter planet is already hurting millions of people,” says Global Climate Strike. “If we don’t act now to transition fairly and swiftly away from fossil fuels to 100% renewable energy access for all, the injustice of the climate crisis will only get worse.”
“We need to act right now to stop burning fossil fuels,” they say. “But it’s going to take all of us working together to succeed… Millions of us will walk out from home, work, school or university to declare a climate emergency and show our politicians what action in line with climate science and justice means.
“The climate crisis won’t wait, so neither will we.”
The Global Climate Strike website has an abundance of useful resources, explaining why this needs to happen, and what you can do if you cannot participate in today’s protest. You can also learn how to start your own climate strike - both in your workplace and community - as well as how you can raise awareness of global warming and join the conversation.
Join your local strike
Strikes are taking place across the UK. If you would like to participate in a protest, visit globalclimatestrike.net to find out what’s happening in your local area. If you are unable to attend a protest, you can join the digital climate strike.
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash.