Climate Action

Over 1 million students walked out of schools on Friday to strike for climate action

Students from all over the world took to the streets on Friday to campaign for a better future, calling for action to address the imminent threat of climate change.

  • 19 March 2019
  • Camilla Watkiss

Students from all over the world took to the streets on Friday to campaign for a better future, calling for action to address the imminent threat of climate change.

An estimated 1.5 million people traded education for action on Friday to demand governments for stronger political action on our current climate crisis.

“We proved that it does matter what you do and that no one is too small to make a difference.” Wrote 16 year old climate activist and strike leader Greta Thunberg. Greta began solo protests for climate action back in August 2018 and has since inspired students around the world to make a stand. She is founder of the Youth Strike for Climate movement and is nominated for the Nobel peace prize.

The UK was among countries including Australia, India, South Korea, South Africa and the US where students came together with one common purpose, to march for their say on their future and to demand government action.

In a video, published via the Conservative Environment Network, UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove says “Dear school climate strikers, we agree”.

While many have praised the collective action of the student strikes, some have criticised students for skipping classes, including the UK government who have voiced concern that the disruption has increased teachers’ workloads and wasted lesson time. Education Secretary Damian Hinds said missing class was not the answer.

Layla aged 16 from Birmingham, UK, told the BBC: “The reason I go to school is so I can have a future. If I don’t come here then I’m not going to have a future anyway, so this is more important for me at the moment.”

Students have the support of over 23,000 scientists from Austria, Germany & Switzerland in a signed statement supporting the Fridays for future campaign.

Following the success of Friday’s protest, plans are already underway in Norway and Svalbard for next Friday’s event where 40,000 Norwegian youths are expected to demonstrate for a strict climate policy.

Photograph: Julian Meehan