We’re Stepping Up — Join Us for a Day to Halt this Climate Crisis
We’re calling for a global strike on 20 September. Disrupting our normal lives is the only way to secure our future
LONDON (May 24, 2019) — On 20 September, at the request of the young people who have been staging school strikes around the world, we’re walking out of our workplaces and homes to spend the day demanding action on the climate crisis, the greatest existential threat that all of us face. It’s a one-day climate strike, if you will — and it will not be the last. This is going to be the beginning of a week of action all over the world. And we hope to make it a turning point in history.
We hope others will join us: that people will leave their offices, their farms, their factories; that candidates will step off the campaign trail and football stars will leave the pitch; that movie actors will scrub off their makeup and teachers lay down their chalk; that cooks will close their restaurants and bring meals to protests; that pensioners too will break their daily routines and join together in sending the one message our leaders must hear: day by day, a business as usual approach is destroying the chance for a healthy, safe future on our planet.
We are well aware that, by itself, this strike and a week of international climate action won’t change the course of events. The good news is that we have the technologies we need — the price of a solar panel has plunged 90% in the past decade. And we know the policies to make them work: all across the planet some version of a Green New Deal has been proposed, laws that would speedily replace fossil fuels with the power of sun and wind, along the way providing good jobs and stabilising strong local economies. We salute the people — many of them young — working hard to pass those measures against the entrenched opposition of the fossil fuel industry.
The September day of global action is designed to support those people. We hope all kinds of environmental, public health, social justice and development groups will join in, but our greatest hope is simply to show that those working on this crisis have the backing of millions of human beings who harbour a growing dread about our environmental plight but who have so far stayed mostly on the sidelines. It may take a few attempts to get those kind of numbers in the streets, but we don’t have too long: our window for effective climate action is closing fast.
We know not everyone can join us. On a grossly unequal planet, some people literally can’t do without a single day’s pay, or they work for bosses who would fire them if they dared try. And some jobs simply can’t stop: emergency room doctors should keep at their tasks. But many of us can put off for 24 hours our usual day to day routine, confident it will be there when we return.
We hope some people will spend the day in protest: against new pipelines, or the banks that fund them; against the oil companies and the politicians that spread their lies. We hope others will spend the day putting insulation in the walls of their neighbours’ homes, or building cycle paths. We hope everyone will take at least a few minutes in a city park or a farm field or on the roof of their apartment to simply soak in the beauty of the world it’s our privilege to protect.
Obviously this is a lot to ask. A day in the life of the world is a big deal, and all of us are used to our routines. But we’re not comfortable letting schoolchildren carry all the weight here — they need our backing. And disrupting our normal lives seems key — it’s normal life that is doing us in, the fact that we rise each morning and do pretty much the same things we did the day before, even amid an unfolding crisis.
We are the people who happen to be alive at the moment when our choices will determine the future for tens of thousands of years: how high the seas will rise, how far the deserts will spread, how fast the forests will burn. Part of our work must be to protect theat future.
Margaret Atwood, Geneviève Azam, Tom Ballard, Fadel Barro, Nnimmo Bassey, May Boeve, Patrick Bond, Mike Brune, Nicola Bullard, Sharan Burrow, Valérie Cabanes, Rachel Carmona, Dr Craig Challen, Noam Chomsky, Maxime Combes, Thomas Coutrot, Cyril Dion, Tasneem Essop, Christiana Figueres, Prof Tim Flannery, Nancy Fraser, KC Golden, Tom BK Goldtooth, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Dr John Hewson, John Holloway, Prof Lesley Hughes, Tomás Insua, Satvir Kaur, Barbara Kingsolver, Winona LaDuke, Jenni Laiti, Bruno Latour, Annie Leonard, Michael Mann, Gina McCarthy, Heather McGhee, Luca Mercalli, Moema Miranda, Jennifer Morgan, Tadzio Müller, Kumi Naidoo, Mohamed Nasheed, Carlo Petrini, Dr Anne Poelina, Mark Ruffalo, Peter Sarsgaard, Dr Vandana Shiva, Rebecca Solnit, Gus Speth, Prof Will Steffen, Tom Steyer, Chris Taylor, Terry Tempest-Williams, Aurélie Trouvé, Farhana Yamin, Lennox Yearwood.
A Manifesto for Tackling the Climate-Change Crisis
As thousands of pupils strike over the catastrophe facing the planet, we demand a state of emergency, be called
(March 15, 2019) — We’re the UK Student Climate Network. We’re young, we’re students and we’re calling for change. Our movement started in February when tens of thousands of young people took to the streets in towns and cities around Britain, in an unprecedented emergence of a youth climate justice movement.
We’ve joined a movement that’s spreading rapidly across the world, catalysed by the actions of one individual in taking a stand in August last year. Greta Thunberg may have been the spark, but we’re the wildfire and we’re fuelled by the necessity for action.
The climate is in crisis. We will be facing ecological catastrophe and climate breakdown in the very near future if those in power don’t act urgently and radically to change our trajectory. Scientists have been giving increasingly dire warnings about the state of our planet for years, with the urgency and severity of their message escalating in recent times. It’s abundantly clear: change is needed, and it’s needed now!
Previous generations and those in positions of power have failed to protect us, they’ve failed to ensure we’ve got a future to look forward to. Not only this, those elected to lead and govern have betrayed countless people across the world already suffering the devastating impacts of climate change.
The burden for creating the change we need to see in the world has sadly fallen upon us and our peers around the world, unified in our common struggle to address the climate crisis. Failure is not an option, that’s why we’re demanding the following:
Declare a Climate Emergency
The government must declare a climate emergency and prioritise the protection of life on Earth, taking active steps to achieve climate justice. We must realign our economy along environmental principles to protect not only the planet, but also to create an equitable world for all people.
Our education system is failing us. We’re not being adequately taught about the climate crisis in our classrooms. Schools are not preparing us for the world we’re about to enter, yet still prepare us for jobs and a society based on the system that caused the crisis. We must urgently reform the national curriculum and learn to address the ecological crisis as an educational priority.
Tell Us the Facts
The government must also communicate to the general public the severity of the ecological crisis and the necessity to act now. The population cannot be expected to hold those in power to account without the necessary information. Our environment is being destroyed and we have a right to know the facts.
Lower the Voting Age
The government must recognise that us, young people have the biggest stake in the future. Legislation must be immediately adopted to lower the voting age to 16 and incorporate youth views into policy making. For too long we’ve been disenfranchised and frozen out of the political system.
It’s clear that politics isn’t working. We can’t keep operating within these failing models of civic engagement. Without reconfiguring the way decision making takes place, we’ll be incapable of addressing the climate crisis.
We need you to listen, we need you to support us. This is a common struggle. It encompasses all people, and will require action across all of society. There’s no longer time for those who want to deny or delay.
We need to continue demonstrating, we need to keep rising up and we need to disrupt the status quo. If the politicians and those in power won’t make the changes we need to see in the world, then it’s time they step aside or else we’ll remove them to put those in power that will.
UK Student Climate Network is a small group of volunteers who were inspired by the powerful and direct protests made by young people against climate inaction across the rest of Europe.
Climate School Strike Statement
Today, we are out on the streets again, in huge numbers, in 128 countries, at over 1700 events, demanding that governments immediately provide a safe pathway to stay below 1.5 degrees of warming.
We spent weeks and months preparing this day. We spent uncountable hours organizing and mobilizing when we could have just hung out with our friends or studied for school.
We, children and students, don’t feel like we have a choice: it’s been years of talking, countless negotiations, empty deals on climate change, fossil fuel companies being given free rides to drill beneath our soils and burn away our futures for their profit.
Politicians have known about climate change for decades. They have willingly handed over their responsibility for our future to profiteers whose search for quick cash threatens our very existence.
We have learned that if we don’t start acting for our future, nobody else will make the first move. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.
Once again our voices are being heard on the streets, but it is not just up to us.
We feel a lot of adults haven’t quite understood that we young people won’t be able to hold off the climate crisis ourselves. Sorry if this is inconvenient for you. But this is not a single-generation job. It’s humanity’s job. We young people can contribute to a larger fight and that can make a huge difference.
So this is our invitation to you. Starting on Friday 20 September we will kick start a week of climate action with worldwide strikes for the climate. We’re asking you to step up alongside us.
There are many different plans underway in different parts of the world for adults to join together and step up and out of your comfort zone for our climate. Let’s all join together; with our neighbours, co-workers, friends, family and go out on to the streets to make our voices heard and make this a turning point in our history.
This is about crossing lines – it’s about rebelling wherever one can rebel. It’s not about saying “Yeah, what the kids do is great, if I was young I would have totally joined in.“ Everyone can and must actually help.
This moment has to happen. Last year’s UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s special report on global warming was clear about the unprecedented dangers of going beyond 1.5C of global warming. Emissions must drop rapidly — so that by the time we will be in our mid- and late-20s we are living in a completely transformed world.
But to change everything, we need everyone. It is time for all of us to unleash mass resistance — we have shown that collective action works. We need to escalate pressure to make sure that change happens, and we must escalate together.
So this is our chance — join us for the climate strikes this September. People have risen up before to demand action and make change, if we do so in massive numbers we have a chance. If we care we must do more than say we do. We must act.
This won’t be the last day we need to take to the streets, but it will be a new beginning. We’re counting on you.
Greta Thunberg (Sweden)
Kyra Gantois (Belgium)
Luisa Neubauer (Germany)
Eslem Demirel (Switzerland)
Vanessa Nakate (Uganda)
Noga Levy-Rappoport (UK)
Isra Hirsi (USA)
Zhang Tingwei (Taiwan)
Angela Valenzuela (Chile)
Martial Breton (France)
Nurul Fitrah Marican (Malaysia)
Asees Kandhari (India)
Jessica Dewhurst (South Africa)
Alexandria Villaseñor (USA)
Jonas Kampus (Switzerland)
George Bond (UK)
Lena Bühler (Switzerland)
Kallan Benson (USA)
Linus Dolder (Switzerland)
Beth Irving (UK)
Zel Whiting (Australia)
Marenthe Middelhoff (Netherlands)
Lubna Wasim (India)
Radhika Castle (India)
Parvez Patel (India)
Wu Chun-Hei (Taiwan)
Anjali Pant (India)
Tristan Vanoni (France)
Luca Salis (Germany)
Brian Wallang (India)
Anisha George (India)
Hiroto Inoue (Japan)
Haven Coleman (USA)
Maddy Fernands (USA)
Bhavreen Malhotra Kandhari (India)
Feliquan Charlemagne (USA)
Salomée Levy (USA)
Karla Stephan (USA)
Anya Sastry (USA)
Claudio Ramirez Betancourt (Chile)
Vicente Gamboa Soto (Chile)
Julia Weder (Canada)
Lilly Platt (Netherlands)
Balder Claassen (Netherlands)
Kassel Hingee (Japan)
Maria Astefanoae (Japan)
Pavol Mulinka (Slovakia)
Global Climate Strikes—on September 20 and Beyond
(May 24, 2019) — As another global School Strike unfolds today in 118 countries, I’m struck by the power of youth and wondering how we can join together as a multi-generational and multiracial movement beyond this moment.
I am forwarding you this call to action published today by Greta Thunberg, Isra Hirsi, Alexandria Villaseñor, and dozens of young climate organizers from across the world. Over a million students are out of school again today to highlight the climate emergency we face, calling on allies of all ages to join in on the action.
The school climate strikes have made waves across the world. Last year in Sweden, Greta Thunberg sounded the alarm on the need for bold climate action. Shortly after she was joined by youth around the world demanding that we wake up and address the climate crisis.
350.org is joining that call for action with plans to connect the struggle for climate to the impacts on our communities, and our very lives. Now is the time to show up in solidarity as members of our communities of every age in the movement fighting for our collective survival.
In that spirit, we invite you to join us.
Pledge to participate in the next wave of global Climate Walkouts and a week of actions starting on Friday 20 September. We will send you information on how you can get involved wherever you live.