This Friday, people all over the world have been participating in the Global Climate Strike to demand that politicians treat climate change as a moral and ethical obligation rather than solely an environmental issue. After 16-year-old Greta Thunberg made global headlines last year for her solitary protests outside of the Swedish parliament, millions of young people have joined her in organising climate protests. Just this week, Thunberg testified before Congress, telling lawmakers, “You’re not trying hard enough. Sorry.” Now, activists are planning a weeklong event to demand climate justice, starting with the strike.
Ahead, everything you need to know about the Global Climate Strike.
What is the Global Climate Strike?
Students across the world are walking out of their schools on Friday, September 20, just ahead of a U.N. emergency climate summit, and adults are walking out in solidarity as well. “Together, we will sound the alarm and show our politicians that business as usual is no longer an option. The climate crisis won’t wait, so neither will we,” according to the organisers’ website.
People around the world will protest in different ways: “Some will spend the day in protest against new pipelines and mines, or the banks that fund them; some will highlight the oil companies fuelling this crisis and the politicians that enable them. Others will spend the day in action raising awareness in their communities and pushing for solutions to the climate crisis that have justice and equity at their heart.”
When is the Global Climate Strike happening?
September 20, with events throughout the week to coincide with the U.N. emergency climate summit on September 23 in New York City. To cap off the week of action, there will be another strike on Friday, September 27.
Who is Greta Thunberg and what does she have to do with the strike?
Greta Thunberg, a Swedish teenager, first began protesting outside of Swedish parliament alone when she was 15 in 2018. The publicity brought her a lot of attention and soon after, students around the world joined her to call for climate justice. Her mother Malena Ernman reportedly gave up her international career as an opera singer after learning about the effects of aviation on climate change from Thunberg. Thunberg has Asperger’s syndrome, which she has called a “superpower” because she says it makes her view the world differently.
Recently, Thunberg met with former president Barack Obama, testified before Congress, and Hillary Clinton tweeted about her. And by all accounts, she’s just getting started. She has said she was inspired by the March for Our Lives protests, in which students walked out of their schools to urge politicians to pass gun laws. “It proves you are never too small to make a difference,” she said of the spread of student strikes after her protest.
What does the Global Climate Strike hope to achieve?
According to the organisers: "Our hotter planet is already hurting millions of people. If we don’t act now to transition fairly and swiftly away from fossil fuels to 100% renewable energy for all, the injustice of the climate crisis will only get worse. We need to act right now to stop burning fossil fuels and ensure a rapid energy revolution with equity, reparations, and climate justice at its heart."
How can I join the Global Climate Strike?
How do I keep up with the Global Climate Strike if I can't go?
What is the international Earth Strike?
Earth Strike is a grassroots movement that demands immediate climate action from politicians worldwide. The organisation is holding a strike on Friday, September 27, the 57th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, the book widely credited with starting the modern environmental movement. The Global Climate Strike supports the Earth Strike and encourages everyone to join on both September 20 and 27.