More than 1.4 million students in 2,233 cities and 128 countries joined the school climate strike on March 15, according to the organization Fridays for Future. The mobilization was possibly the largest of all those held so far at the global level calling for climate action.
“We have proven that everything we do counts and no one is too small to make a difference,” said 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, who launched the movement with her Friday sit-ins before the Swedish Parliament.
Despite criticism from politicians and education ministers, climate-related absenteeism has received a boost from UN Secretary-General António Guterres. “These school-age kids seem to understand something that elders miss: we’re in a race to save our own lives and we’re losing it,” Guterres wrote in an opinion piece published by The Guardian.
“We have before us the window of opportunity, but it is closing,” warned the UN Secretary-General. “Delay in acting on climate is as dangerous as denialism. My generation has failed to respond appropriately to the challenge and this is something that young people feel. No wonder they are outraged.
CLIMATE SUMMIT IN NEW YORK
Guterres has decided to convene a climate action summit in September and in New York, coinciding with the UN General Assembly and to “strengthen the realistic plans” of each country in 2020, “with the goal of reducing emissions to 45% in a decade and reaching zero emissions in 2050”.
“Young people are fed up with the lack of leadership in the face of climate change,” said Anna Taylor, co-founder of YouthStrike4Climate, which convened more than 150 protest demonstrations in the UK on March 15. “After the show of force, we have to disrupt the system and make them uncomfortable in their seats. “We young people are laying the nets and raising our voice in Europe and around the world. The time has come to give priority to the planet.
15 APRIL, NEXT MEETING
The next round of school strikes is scheduled for April 15, with demonstrations scheduled from Australia to India, through several African countries and through the United States, where the movement has gained traction thanks to the momentum of organizations like 350.org.
The student movement has gained the support of dozens of organizations such as Oxfam International. Its executive director, Winnie Byanyima, wrapped up the initiative with these words: “Our children have decided to miss school saying that we have failed them. This is the kind of clarity and energy we need now.