Last Friday 20th September, you might have noticed a large protest in the centre of your city, with many young people participating. Or, you might have seen footage of it, and other similar-looking protests in other cities around Australia, and in cities around the world. These protests have been inspired by a schoolgirl activist, Greta Thunberg, from Sweden, who has managed to galvanise schoolkids around the world to take time off school on a Friday to demand that their government, and those around the world, take urgent action on climate change.
It all grew from Greta’s one-girl strike on a Friday afternoon in August outside the Swedish parliament. There, she sat on the stairs, and held up a hand-written sign that said ‘School strike for the climate’. A year on, and her influence and her number of followers have massively multiplied. The School Strike for Climate is today one of the most far-reaching movements among young people across the world. The movement is fiercely agitating to make governments listen to the voices of the younger generation, because they are literally feeling fear for their future on this planet.
Finding the energy to listen
So what exactly are these young voices demanding? And are governments listening?
According to Greta, “World leaders must prove that they have listened to young climate activists, after a year of protests has not led to any progress in the reduction of greenhouse emissions…”
The UN Climate Action Summit took place 3 days after the global school strike, on 23 September, and Greta explained “I think this is a great opportunity for world leaders to show that they have actually listened to us and to the science … Now they will have to prove that.”
Greta and all the kids will now be keeping busy tracking the post-summit progress, and no doubt keeping us adults all well-informed of the outcomes and all future actions being planned for the future!
A final note from the Climate Council: Dear Greta
On the anniversary of the first climate strike, the Climate Council has expressed its gratitude to Greta. Read their letter here: https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/resources/greta-thunberg-anniversary/
Read more about the School Strike for Climate, the Global Climate Strike, and the UN Climate Action Summit 2019 here: