You must have been living on the moon to have not seen or been affected by the outpouring of Climate Action globally over the past weekend.
With teenage activist Greta Thunberg arriving in the US ahead of the UN Climate Action Summit & millions of people taking to the global streets last Friday, 20th Sept, to demand governmental & policy makers act on advancing anthropgenic climate change; the needs of Planet Earth & Humans as a species have well & truly been made prevalent.
The ‘Climate Crisis’ has been made very real for the nations of Planet Earth, with the most recent Science Advisory Group report, ‘United in Science’, having been presented at the UN Climate Action summit in New York, focusing on targets set globally to reduce emissions & global warming caused by anthropogenic climate change & the reality of how & if these targets are being acted upon & or met.
“The report provides a unified assessment of the state of our Earth system under the increasing influence of the anthropogenic climate change, of humanity’s response thus far and of the far reaching changes that science projects our global climate in the future. The scientific data and findings presented in the report represent the very latest authoritative information on these topics” (1)
With records now showing that the period between 2015-2019 is the warmest time in Earths history since records began, extreme weather systems, devastating forest fires & a continued decrease in arctic ice mass continuing to cause havoc to the Earth’s ecosystem; the Climate Crisis is feeling ever more real.
So what has happened over this past weekend & how have governmental leaders, businesses & policy makers reacted to the outpouring of demands from Earth’s citizens for changes to be made to reverse catastrophic global warming?
Friday 20th September, inspired by Greta Thunberg’s weekly ‘Climate Strike’, millions of protestors, young & old alike, walked out of workplaces, schools, hospitals, etc to strike for Planet Earth, to add their voices to the demands for climate action.
Despite the action closing streets & many employers, parents, unions, politicians & educationalists being in support of & actively encouraging people to take part in the action; not everyone was as positive about the message about Climate Action being shared.
The Telegraph reported that ‘The Department for Education has echoed teachers unions in warning that whilst they “encourage constructive engagement” it shouldn’t “come at the expense of our children’s education or excessive disruption”.
Teachers have been told that if they encourage students to attend or fail to record absences they put themselves at risk of legal or disciplinary action.’ (2)
It wasn’t only in education where the Global Climate Strike met resistance. Despite Climate Activists numbers in Australia being reported as:
Adelaide at least 10,000
a Sky News Australia reporter quoted a poem which began to go viral about young people having ‘bunked off school’ & that the youth of today are the only generation to “Demand air con in every room, drive to school, use electronics and replace perfectly usable technologies to keep trendy” heavily criticising the young people protesting as being fickle, hypocritical & jumping on the Climate Strike band wagon to gain a day off from school.
Twitter feeds reflected some of this negativity with some Tweets still debunking anthropogenic climate change as a ‘Hoax’ & not to be taken seriously. One such piece of propaganda was a photo of a rubbish filled park having been posted by the Australian Youth Coal Coalition (the photo was debunked as a fake in April 2019) quoting that the protester’s from the Climate Strike had left one of the parks in this manner.
Despite there being some denial to the Global Climate Strike, the message could not be ignored by anyone.
Greta Thunberg who lead the Climate Strike march in New York on Friday, ahead of the UN Climate Action summit; has become a global voice for the needs of Planet Earth. Greta told some of her millions of followers “We are not just some young people skipping school, we are a wave of change. Together, we are unstoppable”
Ahead of the UN Climate Action Summit called by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in New York, the Youth Climate Summit took place over the weekend, with youth representatives from global nations attending.
Guterres said of Greta Thunberg & the youth climate movement “You have started this movement,I encourage you to keep your initiative, keep your mobilization, and more and more to hold my generation accountable.” (3)
However, despite Antonio Guterres being seen to be encouraging of the youth Climate Summit, one young activist was not convinced of the reality of what the Youth Climate Summit was for & what, if anything it would or could achieve.
“Dear world leaders, I ask you,” said one young activist. “What is the purpose of having this summit if two days from now you are letting fossil fuel corporations and CEOs of corporations take the stage along with member nations and allowing them to influence climate policy when they are the ones that created this crisis?”
“You claim you want to listen to youth solutions but this feels more like a photo op,” she added. (3)
As we move into this week, the main Climate Action Summit at the UN headquarters in New York gets underway. Secretary General Antonio Guterres says of the event “87 major companies with a combined value of US$ 2.3 trillion have set ambitious climate targets. We are starting to see the transition from a grey to a green economy that we urgently need.”
Greta Thunberg’s address to the UN & world leaders on Monday 23rd September, has sent an accusatory ripple around the world, with her message having gone viral.
Greta’s impassioned emotive address to world leaders “You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words,” “People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction. And all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”
As the UN Climate Action Summit continues throughout this week, we await the outcomes of how well the UN report ‘United in Science’ has been received & what future targets & promises world leaders are planning in implementing.
Written by Katy-Jane Mason on behalf of Dolphin N2