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Climate Strike: Why Students All Over the World Are Taking a Stand

A million students are expected to participate in the Global Climate Strike. Here’s what it’s about.

Published
Environment
3 min read
A million students are expected to participate in the Global Climate Strike, held across cities of the world. File photo from a Fridays for Future protest in India.
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Young students across the world will take to the streets on 20 and 27 September as part of coordinated global strike – #FridaysForFuture – to protest government and corporate inaction on climate change.

At least a million students are expected to participate in the Global Climate Strike, held across cities of the world, coinciding with the the United Nations Climate Action Summit organised on 23 September in New York.

But where did this initiative come from?

Sixteen-year-old Swedish girl Greta Thunburg.

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WHO IS THIS OG SCHOOL STRIKER?

As the original school striker, Thungerg in September 2018 sat in front of her country's Parliament to shed light on environmental problems and government inaction on it.

“Why study for a future which may not be there?”said Thunberg in September 2018, demanding that political leaders improve the climate policies for a sustainable future.

While she initially protested for a few days at a stretch, it soon evolved into a weekly protest, where Thunberg would miss school and protest in front of her Parliament. The strike soon turned into a global movement with Friday demonstrations becoming a regular affair.

As Thunberg leads the strike outside the United Nations on Friday, scores of students from across the world are expected to leave their classrooms and join her in protest.

The demonstrations will take place just days before the UN climate summit, where leaders will present their long-term plans for curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

WHAT DIFFERENCE DO THESE STRIKES MAKE?

These strikes won't solve the climate crisis. But according to the Global Climate Strike website, the movement will demonstrate that "people are no longer willing to continue with business as usual."

It gives a much-needed push and politicises climate change.

“Our hotter planet is already hurting millions of people. If we don’t act now to transition fairly and swiftly away from fossil fuels to 100% renewable energy access for all, the injustice of the climate crisis will only get worse.”
Global Climate Strike
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CAN ADULTS JOIN THE STRIKE?

Yes, most defintely.

Urging parents to join the strikes and allow their kids to skip school on 20 September, Delhi-based Bhavreen Khanduri, an environmentalist and mother of 15-year-old twins, told The Quint:

“As a parent, I am worried how I will feed my kids in coming years. How will I ensure clean drinking water for them? Will they be able to play in open spaces? I know that only strong and political will can ensure a safer environment.”

HOW CAN YOU PARTICIPATE?

At least 1,700 strikes are planned across the world, with over 800 events planned in the United States and 400 in Germany alone.

In India, multiple strikes are taking place in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Bhopal, Jaipur, Kochi, Allahabad and Calicut, among other cities.

Shikha Kumar of Jhatkaa.org, one of the organisers of the strike in India, told The Quint:

“It’s been so inspiring to see children from different parts of India join this movement, by regularly showing up for protests, marches, and human chains... reminding our government that it’s their future that’s at stake. Whether it’s for Aarey in Mumbai or Aravalli in Delhi, the voice of every young citizen matters. Students form the very essence of the Global Climate Strikes, and will usher in the change we need.”

An interactive map by the Global Climate Strike will help you find a protest in your city.

(With inputs from AP)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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