Today is the day.
Millions of people around the globe are walking out of schools, universities and workplaces. They want to raise awareness of climate change and demand urgent action from governments and organisations.
Led primarily by young people but open to all, there are more than 5,000 events planned today in 150 countries.
The strikes started in the Pacific Ocean. Protestors in small island nations like Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu joined those in powerhouses like Australia and New Zealand. Organisers report that over 300,000 people turned out in Australia alone.
The protests then moved into India and Southeast Asia. Thousands of people took to the streets in Thailand, Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines and Myanmar.
Protests are now getting underway in Europe and Africa and will be moving to North and South America throughout the day, culminating in an event in New York City where teenage activist Greta Thunberg will speak.
A Youth Climate Summit will be held at the United Nations tomorrow.
‘The Youth Climate Summit will feature a full-day of programming that brings together young activists, innovators, entrepreneurs, and change-makers who are committed to combating climate change at the pace and scale needed to meet the challenge. It will be action oriented, intergenerational, and inclusive, with equal representation of young leaders from all walks of life.’
– UN Climate Summit
And Monday kicks off the UN’s emergency summit on climate change. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will challenge world leaders to do more to meet the targets set out in the 2015 Paris climate accord.
Climate change is affecting people all over the world:
> Sea levels rise as ice caps and glaciers melt
> Extreme weather events mean floods, droughts and wildfires
> 150-200 species go extinct every day
> Food and water supplies are in danger of disruption, leading to environmental migration
> The poor are much more likely to affected by climate change than the middle class or the wealthy
The protestors want climate justice – with reform in political and economic systems to make the world a fairer place for all. They also want urgent action by governments and organisations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, leave fossil fuels in the ground and protect the finite natural resources of the planet.
If you’re taking part in the climate strikes today, be sure to tag your social posts with #ClimateStrike.