Young people prepare to march for change in worldwide climate protests

It’s hoped that tomorrow’s protests will raise awareness of the state of the world’s climate change emergency, and evoke change from our world leaders (Image Source: ABC News Reporter Gabriella Marchant)

By Simon Delaine | @SimonDelaine1

Tomorrow, September 20, young people from 120 countries are joining together in what will likely be the biggest climate strike ever.

This is surprising considering the humble beginnings of the “School Strike for Climate” movement.

The movement began in August last year, when 15-year-old Greta Thunberg sat outside Swedish Parliament by herself to push for action against climate change.

But Ms Thunberg no longer acts alone.

Tomorrow’s strikes follow those held on March 15, when 1.5 million people around the world, including 150,000 Australians, took part in climate protests.

Attendance tomorrow is expected to be significantly greater, with businesses also pledging to add their voices to the action.

Not Business as Usual is an alliance of businesses allowing and encouraging their employees to take part in the strikes.

The Australian network of school climate strikers have three demands: no new coal, oil and gas projects, including the Adani mine; 100 per cent renewable energy generation and exports by 2030; and funding for a just transition and job creation for all fossil-fuel workers and communities.

The Adelaide strikes will begin at 12pm, with protesters meeting at Victoria Square before marching north along King William Street, ending up at Parliament House.

Evan Meneses, a Year 11 Adelaide High School student, is one of the organisers of the Adelaide strikes.

He encourages those attending to bring signs or banners with “the usual slogans on them”, as well as an umbrella or a raincoat in case of wet weather.

“Last time [in the March strikes] we had around 5000 people in Adelaide. This time it’s looking to be around 8000 to 10,000,” he said.

“Among our speakers we have an indigenous speaker, a union speaker, a youth speaker, [and] a regional speaker, so we’ve really tried to encompass the spirit of the general strike by trying to include all perspectives.”

These global strikes plan to raise awareness of the action that is needed to fight climate change.

The protests are strategically taking place just three days before the United Nation’s Climate Action Summit in New York.

The UN’s Secretary-General, António Guterres, said world leaders must come to New York on September 23 with “concrete, realistic plans to enhance their nationally determined [from the Paris Agreement] contributions by 2020”.

“The Climate Action Summit will be an opportunity for countries to scale up their pledges so that we can stop the increasing emissions by 2020 and dramatically reduce emissions to reach net zero by mid-century,” Mr Guterres said in a video posted by the UN.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison left for the US today on what is the first official visit to the US by an Australian Prime Minister in 13 years; though he will not be attending the climate summit.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne and the Australian Ambassador for the Environment Patrick Suckling will attend the summit in the Prime Minister’s place.

 

 

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