The Global Climate Strike will take place on Friday 20th September - three days before countries attend the United Nations Climate Action Summit on 23rd September to discuss relevant action that is required to curb greenhouse gas emissions with regards to the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.
This is the most important Climate Strike to date, as it aims to get countries to significantly reduce their carbon emissions by committing to tougher climate targets, and lead a focus on transitioning to renewable energy to limit global temperatures to 1.5°C. The risks and effects of Climate Change are comprehensively outlined in The Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change’s, ‘Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5’ (SR1.5). It identifies that allowing global warming to reach 2°C or higher will result in more extreme weather conditions that we have recently witnessed, permanently impact natural ecosystems beyond repair, and lead to greater food insecurity that will affect civilisations across the world.
Most notably however, those who have contributed least to global warming are set to suffer the most. For example, people living in small island countries such as the Maldives, who have very low carbon emissions are severely threatened by rising sea levels. Similarly, extreme weather conditions such as Hurricane Dorian are expected to increase with severity. Rather than becoming the exception to rising global temperatures, these occurrences will become the norm, and continue to devastate countries such as The Bahamas for years to come. It seems unjust that those who are least capable of adapting to climate change are the ones most affected.
A brief look at history will highlight that well-organised, non-violent protests evoke change. In the same way that protesting was successful for civil rights, women’s right to vote and same-sex marriages, it is evident that protests leave an imprint on the public’s imagination, constructing sympathy for the cause, and bring the issue to the forefront of discussion.
What makes the Climate Strike such a powerful movement, boils down to the fact that it is largely led by young activists, most of which still attend school. Collectively, they take an active stance against government, politicians and policymakers, to radically restructure current discussions around Climate Change and stress the urgency to act before it’s too late.