On Friday, people around the world took part in a Global Climate Strike that is believed to be the largest climate protest in history. Event organizers say around 4 million people took part.
The strikes grew from the actions of Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, who attracted attention by skipping school to sit outside Parliament, protesting her government’s lack of action on global warming.
Climate Crisis The climate crisis is a global emergency caused by the change in weather patterns around the world because of human activity. Global heating is a huge part of the climate crisis. The world is getting hotter, mainly because humans are burning “fossil fuels” like coal, oil, and natural gas to make energy. These fuels give off pollution which makes the climate emergency worse. These kinds of pollution are often called “greenhouse gases” or “carbon emissions”. The world’s countries have agreed to pollute less, but so far not much has changed. The effects of global heating will make life hard, and sometimes impossible, for most living things. Scientists say humans must take strong action before 2030 to avoid the worst effects of the climate emergency.
Friday’s event included over 5,800 different climate protests in 161 countries. The climate action group 350.org, which helped organize the event, shared the information below about the numbers of people involved:
New York City
All of the strikes shared the message that the world is now in a climate emergency that needs to be dealt with right away. But local events also often included a local focus for the protest, such as stopping the Adani Coal Mine in Australia.
This is the third Global Climate Strike, but the first one that adults were encouraged to join. In the past, most of the protesters have been young people, worried because climate change will affect them much more than adults.
As adults have joined the protests, so have many organizations. Many large groups that work to protect the environment encouraged their members to take part. Around 72 unions (groups that represent workers) have joined the protest. Some unions have millions of members.
The group 350.org says that around 3,000 companies and over 7,000 web sites closed down for the day as part of the strike.
In some cases, protesting workers have helped encourage change at the places where they work. Over 1,000 workers at the online shopping giant Amazon announced they would use Friday’s event to protest the company’s pollution. Google workers did the same thing.
On the day before the climate strike, both companies announced big new plans to cut their pollution. Neither company created their plans simply because of the climate-striking workers, but the pressure and the extra attention may have played a part in getting the companies to take action.
From Protests to Plans
Climate groups around the world plan to keep going with more climate action events all week long. They want to keep the pressure up on politicians and governments.
Moving from street protests to government action will be challenging. Today, the United Nations (UN) Climate Action meeting begins in New York City. The meeting will bring together governments, businesses, and other groups to share ideas that could actually work in taking on the climate crisis.
Leaders from around the world will be taking part in the meeting, and UN leader António Guterres wants to focus on action. He told the leaders, “Bring plans, not speeches.”
But two important world leaders won’t be going. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is in the US, but will skip the meeting.
US President Donald Trump is also skipping the meeting, and seems to be making a point of it. He will actually be at the UN when the meeting is happening, but he plans to go to a different meeting instead.
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensure basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be absolutely necessary for the website to function or are used specifically to collect personal user data via analytics, ads, other embedded content are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.
Most news on NewsForKids.net is appropriate for all ages. When there is news that may not be suitable for all ages, we try to tag it. You can use the setting below to control whether content tagged in this manner is shown.