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World youth from 80 countries plan to strike on Friday calling on countries to address climate change

Monday, March 11th 2019 - 09:09 UTC
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The global youth movement was kick-started last year by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg The global youth movement was kick-started last year by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg

The young people of the world have a message for adults, and this Friday (March 15) they will go on strike to make sure their views on climate change are heard. Tens of thousands of students from more than 80 countries and territories - including the United States, Malaysia and Hong Kong - plan to skip school that day to urge adults to treat climate change as a crisis, and for governments to take action now.

The global youth movement was kick-started last year by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, who had refused to go to school in order to pressure her government to take more drastic climate action. Her move has inspired many other young people to do the same.

Friday's protest, however, is the first global one, with students around the world expected to take part.

“This is of course nothing that I expected,” Greta admitted. “None of this would have happened without all the channels of the global environmental community. Millions of people have been fighting for the climate for decades, and without them nothing would have happened.”

Young people point to several reasons for their anger: The raft of recent scientific reports highlighting the perils of unabated global warming for future generations, and the inaction when it comes to implementing available climate solutions.

American teen Kate Anchondo, who is organizing a school strike in San Diego, California, said: “I am worried, and angry that we let it get this far. The science has been clear for a really long time, but we've never really faced the issue head on.”

Speaking to on Sunday near Chula Vista City Hall, where Friday's strike will be held, Kate pointed to a recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as an urgent call to action.

The IPCC report, released last October, highlighted the differences between the impact of a 1.5 deg C global warming scenario and a 2 deg C one, with the latter having catastrophic effects on earth systems, human livelihoods and biodiversity.

The report also laid out pathways for nations to keep warming to the lower limit, but these involve drastic action to cut fossil fuel use and major changes to lifestyles and habits.

“If we act by ourselves, there is limited impact. But striking as a whole nation, as a whole bunch of youth from all over the world, creates a very strong message. It makes the adults face the issue and hopefully prompt them to do something about it,” said Kate, whose parents are supportive of her plans to strike.

Categories: Politics, International.

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