The global climate school strike on 24 May was reportedly the biggest yet, even bigger than the 1.4m-strong actions on 15 March. (PN 2628–2629) Young people in 1,664 cities across 125 countries registered strike actions with the co-ordinating group set up by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg.
The group, #FridaysForFuture, has called on adults to join the ‘mass resistance’ and to walk out of work on Friday 20 September.
Thunberg and others wrote in a Guardian article: ‘Starting on Friday 20 September, we will kickstart a week of climate action with a worldwide strike for the climate. We’re asking adults to step up alongside us.... go out on to the streets to make your voices heard and make this a turning point in our history.’
‘Global Climate Strike’ has been formed for adults by climate campaigners 350.org in response to the call, with a website where you can sign up, and a guide to supporting school strikers.
The 20 September strike will be just before the 23 September UN Climate Action Summit in New York called by UN secretary-general António Guterres. At the summit, states will be asked to present ‘concrete, realistic plans’ for dramatically reducing their national greenhouse gas emissions over the next 20 years.
If countries are going to present science-based climate action plans in September, they will need to be pressured long before then.
One opportunity in the UK comes with Christian Aid’s mass lobby of the Westminster parliament on 26 June. 10,000 people are expected to take part in the ‘The Time Is Now’ lobby which will ask for a UK net-zero emissions date no later than 2045.
The government’s own Committee on Climate Change recommended a new emissions target for the UK on 2 May: net-zero greenhouse gases by 2050. They reported: ‘Current policy is insufficient for even the existing targets.’
The 24 May school strikes followed mass climate action in London by Extinction Rebellion (XR), which led to over 1,100 arrests over 11 days. (See inside for court reports and suggestions for what local XR groups could do now.)