The world’s largest climate strike is set to take place this Friday (20th September), when students and workers are expected to down tools and join climate demonstrations, three days before the UN meets in New York to discuss the issue.
Inspired by Greta Thunberg’s famous school strike which took place in August 2018 in Sweden, the campaigners are urging countries and companies to act on our climate crisis by reducing carbon emissions.
Here is everything you need to know about the climate strike.
What strikes are happening?
According to campaigners, there are 3,400 events planned in 120 countries, with 150 of these events taking place in the UK. One event, hosted by branches of Extinction Rebellion, will take place in Dover. Another, Strand the Strand, will take place on King’s College London’s campus. A Global Climate Strike event on Facebook has currently registered almost 8,000 interested participants.
The UK Student Climate Network have created a useful tool to let people know where their nearest strike action will take place.
Who is organising the climate strikes?
The strikes were called by Fridays For Future, a campaign group led by Greta Thunberg. Other groups involved in local mobilisation include the UK Student Climate Network, Extinction Rebellion and Climate Strike.
What do the strikers want?
The various campaign groups taking part in the strikes are lobbying governments and businesses to mitigate against the dangers of climate change. Climate Strike say that their demands are a transition to 100% clean energy, a halt in fossil fuel exploration, and a commitment to help victims of climate change.
What companies are taking part?
1,000 Amazon workers have pledged to take place in the strikes, to put pressure on the company.
Meanwhile, Amnesty International has written to 30,000 schools around the world, encouraging them to let pupils join in. The company’s staff will also be out of their offices.
The Trade Unions Congress has said workers can take 30 minutes of action to support the strikers, while Greenpeace, Oxfam and Ben & Jerry’s will also be involved.
What politicians are involved?
Politicians from across the political spectrum have expressed their support for the strikes. Jeremy Corbyn took to Twitter to urge people to join in, while the Green Party also officially supports the action, with Caroline Lucas having tabled a motion about it in the House of Commons.
The leaders of the Scottish National Party, Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats supported Lucas’s motion, which urged adults to join in the strikes.
How are schools reacting?
Teachers are generally in favour of pupils attending the strikes, according to a survey commissioned by the National Citizen Service.
It found that 61% of teachers agreed that pupils should be allowed an “explained absence” to take part in a social activity, like a march.
One teacher wrote an article in the Independent expressing support for the strikes.
Meanwhile, striking Glaswegian students will not be disciplined, according to local councillors who have advised schools to let them take part.
What can you do to support the strike?
If you are able to join a strike or protest, you can find your nearest event here.
If you are not able to take part in an event, another way you can show solidarity is by making a statement of support on social media. You could upload a short video explaining why you back the strikers, or take a photo of yourself holding a message of support. Make sure to use #Strike4Climate #ClimateStrike in your post.