This September, millions around the world will be joining the global climate strikes to be held on the 20th and 27th to demand climate justice and an end to the use of fossil fuels. Climate strikers will be sounding the alarm on global warming in hopes to pressure politicians to place climate change at the centre of the agenda. As stated by the Global Climate Strike organisers, “the climate crisis won’t wait, so neither will we.”
Faced with the escalating threat of climate breakdown, young people from all over the world will be calling for an end to “business as usual”. The first global strike will be held on the 20th, three days ahead of the United Nations Emergency Climate Summit, and then on the 27th. Already, the proposed strikes have garnered organisers from over 117 countries, each to highlight different issues related to the coal, oil and gas industries. At the core of the more than 2,500 registered strikes will be a call for a clean energy revolution – a full transition away from fossil fuels to 100% renewable energy.
This is a part of the Fridays for Future movement, which has seen millions of school climate strikers leaving their classrooms every week to call attention to the destruction of our planet. Started by now-famous Greta Thunberg last year, when she skipped her school classes to protest against the Swedish government’s failure to comply with the Paris Agreement, Fridays For Future have spiralled into a global phenomenon. In March 2019, the world saw the first global climate school strike spanning across 125 countries, including Hong Kong.
Climate change will directly affect Asia and the Pacific, and youngsters in the region continue to step up, and are rightfully calling for more urgent attention. Currently, around 17 activities will be taking place during the September Friday strikes in Pacific Island communities, where inhabitants of low-lying areas are at risk of rising sea levels caused by global warming. In Southeast Asia, events are planned across the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam and Singapore. In East Asia, actions across South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan are growing day by day.
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Cimbyo Ketaren, a young organiser of a climate protest to be held in Bengkulu, Indonesia, spoke to the Global Climate Strike about why he is taking the lead alongside his local environmental group Fossil Free Bengkulu: “I love nature, and growing up I always ventured into the forest and climbed nearby mountains. But one day, I climbed up and found the forest gone. This motivated me to do something about the climate crisis and the coal plants still being developed in Indonesia.”
It is now more important than ever to protest the lack of action taken against the threat of climate change. We can no longer afford to idly stand by – join the climate strikes in the coming weeks to support climate justice for everyone and end the age of fossil fuels.
Lead image courtesy of Pixabay.