Thousands of children and teenagers across the world went on strike Friday to demand adults take action against climate change. Organizers said that young people in 112 countries were planning to participate in the strike, including youth from Australia, South Korea, Kenya, Uganda, Finland, the United Kingdom, Mexico, and Argentina. In the United States alone, the U.S. Youth Climate Strike organized 400 actions across all 50 states.
The strike is inspired by 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg from Sweden, who in August 2018 organized a school strike against climate change in front of the Swedish Parliament. The teen got nominated to the Nobel Peace Prize over her work against climate change on Thursday.
Climate change is considered the greatest threat against humanity. An United Nations report released last year found that by 2040 the planet would be in absolute crisis. Some of the consequences the globe would face in 21 years include food shortages, extreme poverty, wildfires, droughts, and the death of coral reefs. The only way to fight climate change, the UN panel in charge of the report said, is to transform the global economy at a scale and pace that has “no documented historic precedent.”
The threat has led youth to mobilize across the globe. In the U.S., young people have been the driving force behind the Green New Deal, an ambitious plan to address climate change and income inequality.
“Today’s youth understand the severity and urgency of the climate crisis. They understand that they will have to face the impacts of the action, or inaction, we take now,” the Peoples Climate Movement (PCM) said in a statement provided to Refinery29. “And they understand that the status quo is not acceptable.”
Ahead, scenes from the youth climate strike around the world.
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