Young students from more than 80 countries and territories, including the United States, Australia, Malaysia, and Hong Kong, are expected to strike on 15 March, urging adults to treat climate change as a crisis and will demand action on climate change by governments.
Tens of thousands of students around the world plan to skip school that day and have issued an uncompromising open letter stating,
“We are the voiceless future of humanity … We will not accept a life in fear and devastation. We have the right to live our dreams and hopes.”
The global youth movement was kick-started last year by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, who had refused to go to school in order to pressure her government to take more drastic climate action. Her move has inspired many other young people to do the same.
“This is, of course, nothing that I expected,” Greta told. “None of this would have happened without all the channels of the global environmental community. Millions of people have been fighting for the climate for decades, and without them, nothing would have happened.”
Young people point to several reasons for their anger. The raft of recent scientific reports highlighting the perils of unabated global warming for future generations, and the inaction when it comes to implementing available climate solutions.
American teen Kate Anchondo, who is organizing a school strike in San Diego, California, said: “I am worried, and angry that we let it get this far. The science has been clear for a really long time, but we’ve never really faced the issue head on.”
Anna Taylor, 17, from north London, UK, said: “The importance of the letter is it shows this is now an international movement. The rapid growth of the movement is showing how important it is and how much young people care. It is vital for our future.”