By: Amaya Flaherty-Lewis
The climate strike is an international movement of school students who take off time from class to participate in demonstrations to demand action to prevent further global warming and climate change. It’s also known as Fridays for Future (FFF), Youth for Climate, and Youth Strike 4 Climate. The widespread organizing began after a Swedish girl, aged 16, named Greta Thunberg had a protest in August 2018 outside the Swedish Riksdag/parliament, holding a sign that read “Skolstrejk för klimatet” which translates to “School strike for the climate.”
The recent climate strike that occurred on September 20th, 2019 has been estimated to have 4 million people protesting, according to 250.org. There were 2,500 events scheduled in over 163 countries on all seven continents. There were 40,000 people striking in France; 2,600 in Ukraine; 5,000 in South Africa; 10,000 in Turkey; 5,000 in Japan; 100,000 in London; 330,000 in Australia; 25,000 in NYC; and 1.4 million in Germany – all according to the event organizers.
China, the largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions, was noticeably absent from the images of protestors shared by Thunberg and other organizers on Twitter. Zheng Xiaowen of the China Yotuh Climate Action Network said that Chinese youth would take action one way or another, according to the Guardian. “Chinese youth have their own methods,” she said. “We also pay attention to the climate and we are also thinking deeply, interacting, taking action, and so many people are very conscientious on this issue.”
Regardless, some may say it was inspiring to see young people protest and tell adults that they should take scientists’ warnings on climate change seriously, as well as limit devastating warming by accelerating decarbonization in the next decade.