The Climate Action Week (20-27 September 2019) will be remembered forever by the young and old generations. People in different parts of the world went out to the streets of their respective countries to raise their voices and demand active change regarding climate change. Children and teenagers missed school on this day to raise awareness on this matter. They were joined by adults at more than 4,500 demonstrations in at least 130 countries. This was an urge for politicians and world leaders to care about the climate and play an active role in saving our Earth.
This initiative, which started as a solo journey by 16-year Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, has grown to become a massive global strike, known as ‘The Global Climate Strike.’ Greta joined the massive strike which took place in New York. 1.1 Million students were excused from school if their parents or guardian provided them with the necessary paperwork. The event brought millions onto the streets ahead of a summit at the United Nations on Monday, during which world leaders are expected to start making changes to their overall emissions. Although António Guterres, the UN’s Secretary-General was expecting “concrete, realistic plans” from nations, with the ultimate goal of reaching net zero emissions by 2050, the results were disappointing.
Climate change has been a rising concern over the past few years as the planet has experienced some of its worst times. The main problem is the rising carbon dioxide and other climate-changing gases in the atmosphere; this is due to burning of fossil fuels, which are burnt at an exponential level (billions of tones of CO2 is emitted into the atmosphere from burning coal, oil & gas). Another cause is the forest destruction, which leads to a large amount of CO2 being emitted in the atmosphere. There are severe consequences to these problems: the global temperature is rising at an exponential level, melting the arctic, melting the ice caps (Greenland has lost almost 4 trillion tones of ice since 2002), burning forests, rise sea levels, amongst others. There are ways in which we can make a difference, these include but are not limited to: switching to electric vehicles or switching to wind or solar energy.
Walk the Global Walk, 2 years before Fridays for Future Movement, had selected the SDG 13 “Climate action” as one of the topics of the project, identifying young people as change catalysts and seeing schools as a central actor of change. This school year (2019-2020) will be dedicated to learn, think and act upon climate change, training teachers and students to lead change together with local authorities, linking with Fridays for Future, Teachers for Future and Parents for Future movements globally and locally. There is no more time to talk the talk, we need to walk the (global) walk. The time is now.