Student Climate Strikes Across Asia: “There Is No Planet B”

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For months, millions of young climate activists around the world have been taking to the streets on Fridays to demand governmental action on our planet’s most urgent issue: climate change. Ahead of the United Nations Climate Action Summit, today’s 20th September protest marks the third general strike for the climate, as a part of the broader #FridaysForFuture movement. This time around, the Global Climate Strikers are calling for an end to the age of fossil fuels. Galvanised by now world-renowned environmental student leader and climate activist Greta Thunberg from Sweden, strikes are also occurring right here in Asia

Hong Kong

In light of ongoing events in Hong Kong, there is no official global climate strike occuring in the city today. But Hong Kong students are still making their voices heard by participating in the movement through #morethan1%

Less than 1% of Hong Kong’s energy supply is generated from renewables – so in place of a strike, the organising group Climate Action Hong Kong have called on students to share photos on social media with #morethan1% written on arms to demand a shift away from fossil fuels. Many students have already tagged themselves and spread the word on online channels to show their support for the planet. 

Source: Climate Action HK

Another way to show support for climate action is to take part in a public engagement forum launched by the Sustainable Development Council, where you can voice your opinion on Hong Kong’s decarbonisation strategy. This is your last chance to do so, as the body will stop collecting survey results today

Australia

Australian students from Sydney to Melbourne have already begun striking for the climate. Organisers have said that around 110 towns and cities across Australia will stage protests to demand the government and corporations to commit to reducing carbon emissions to zero by 2030. In Melbourne, some 100,000 students have gathered to call for an end to fossil fuels. 

The large turnout in Australia has even captured the attention of Greta Thunberg herself, who tweeted to say that these students have “set the standard” for the rest of the world:

Politicians have also taken note, with Guardian Australia reporting that the federal energy minister, shadow energy minister and corporate energy giants have engaged in a dialogue and taken questions students. 

Southeast Asia

Students are marching all over the Philippines. In Manila, thousands are walking to the Commission on Higher Education to voice dismay at the lack of support for the strikes, while others are protesting outside the Commission on Human Rights as well as other landmarks in the capital.

Protests for climate justice are also planned in Bangkok and Chiang Mai in Thailand, Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, Yangon in Myanmar, Cardamom Mountain in Cambodia, Malaysia, Taiwan and Singapore

Pacific Islands

Youths are also riding the wave of change in the Solomon Islands, where the Matagi Malohi group are leading protesters in Marovo in the Western Province. The group’s name simply translates to “strong winds” – and this is what they hope to achieve by striking in solidarity with other students of the world: strong winds leading change. The Pacific islands are especially vulnerable to climate change – inhabitants of these low-lying islands are threatened with mass displacement if sea levels continue to rise due to global warming. Residents have continually asked wealthier developed countries to do more. 

South Asia

In India, 13 cities across the country including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai, have all planned to host student events in solidarity with the global climate strike, with some students focusing on plastic use as well. Thousands are expected to show up, as most cities in India experienced a great turnout in previous strikes in May.

Hundreds of students across Pakistan and Nepal have also called on a shift to using 100% renewables. 

North Asia

A few protests have begun in Japan, including Hiroshima, Fukuoka and the capital Tokyo. Unfortunately, the country’s involvement in the climate strike is likely to be lower key than other regions in the Asian Pacific, reported The Guardian’s Justin McCurry, due to past protests having low turnouts.

This article is a part of Green Queen’s collaboration in the Covering Climate Now project, a week-long initiative to raise global awareness of our planet’s climate emergency. 


Lead image courtesy of Reuters.

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