3rd Global Climate Strike calls for action ahead of U.N. summit
Sept. 20 (UPI) — Tens of thousands around the world are set to take part in a coordinated global strike Friday, with the aim of conducting one of the largest environmental protests in history.
More than 2,500 strikes and other activities are planned in 156 countries for Friday and Sept. 27 as part of the Global Climate Strike — a show of opposition toward what organizers say is government inaction in fighting climate change.
Major U.S. cities including Washington, D.C., Boston, Seattle, Minneapolis, Miami, Los Angeles and Denver will hold events — but the largest is expected to take place in New York City, where the United Nations Climate Action Summit is set for Monday. The high-level summit will evaluate plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the Paris climate agreement.
Friday’s strike will be the third Global Climate Strike this year alone. More than 1.5 million students participated in the first demonstration in March and thousands more people joined the second in May.
Friday’s event will begin in the Pacific Islands, where communities will hold mass sit-ins and inter-generational dialogues. In Australia, every major city in Australia was set to stage marches. Strikers in Nepal will oppose government plans to begin seismic tests for hydrocarbon drilling in the Himalayas. Ivory Coast demonstrators will protest a proposed coal plant.
The strikes are an offshoot of the Fridays for the Future movement, which was started by now-famous 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. Students worldwide participated in strikes from school every Friday to demand their governments solve the climate crisis.
For the two strikes this month, organizers hope to expand their scope to include adult workers.
“Everyone is needed to disrupt business as usual: from sports stars, actors and teachers to food industry workers, psychologists, delivery drivers and everything in between,” organizers state on the Global Climate Strike website.
Globally, 72 trade unions and federations are supporting the strikes. New York City’s public school system has said it will excuse absences for students that participate. Some in other participating cities, like Miami, will not.
Thunberg arrived in New York City earlier this month for Monday’s U.N. event. Opting not to fly, given the carbon emissions of commercial jetliners, she sailed from Europe to the United States. The journey took two weeks.
“I don’t want you to listen to me. I want you to listen to the scientists and I want you to unite behind the science,” she told congressional lawmakers Wednesday, at a joint session of the House climate crisis committee and House foreign affairs subcommittee. “And then I want you to take real action.”