AndMore than 1,400 people took to the streets around the world on Friday to demand strict action on the climate crisis.
A protest first started in 2018 by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg has turned into an international phenomenon. Today, there are more than 700 schools strike In Europe, about 200 are planned in the Americas and 88 in sub-Saharan Africa.
The crowds come weeks before Cop26 – the most important UN climate summit in years – is scheduled to take place in Glasgow. A recent United Nations assessment found that countries still lag behind the level of action needed to meet global climate goals.
As the youth came out to protest, Granthshala Examines their key demands – as well as how they keep pace with the latest science and promises put forward by world leaders.
end of fossil fuels
a key demand The Friday for the Future movement aims for prosperous countries to end “considerable” disinvestment from fossil fuels and their “extraction, burning and use”.
In 2019, approx 84 percent The fossil fuels of global primary energy come from coal, oil and gas. And a recent landmark report by the United Nations Climate Authority made it clear that burning fossil fuels is already affecting weather and climate extremes in every region of the world.
The UK, the main host of Cop26, is less ambitious in its approach. Boris Johnson and his government are instead calling on countries to “send coal power to history” instead of all forms of fossil fuels.
While coal is the dirtiest of fossil fuels, the latest scientific evidence suggests that action on oil and gas will also be needed to limit the climate crisis.
A study published in the journal Nature This month found that 90 percent of coal and 60 percent of oil and gas must be released into the ground if the world has a 50 percent chance of maintaining global temperatures at 1.5C – the international aspiration agreement set by Paris.
And a major report published by the International Energy Agency (IEA) in May said there may be no more fossil fuel expansion if the world is to meet its climate goals.
GranthshalaThe Stop Fueling the Climate Crisis campaign is also calling for action on all fossil fuels ahead of Cop26.
Climate cash for developing countries
Another major demand of young strikers is for leaders to recognize the inequalities underlying the climate crisis.
Since the start of the fossil fuel era, developing countries have emitted the fewest and still face the biggest climate impacts, Ugandan activist Vanessa Nakate explained Monday.
“Historically, we have seen the entire continent of Africa account for only 3 percent of global emissions. And yet Africans are already suffering some of the most brutal impacts from the climate crisis,” said Ms. Nakate.
“We have seen many Africans lose their lives and countless more have lost their homes and businesses… This is why we will strike on 24 September – to demand climate justice.”
Leading youth activists have called on developed countries to deliver on promises of providing $100bn per year to help developing countries cope and adapt to rising emissions. The pledge was first made in 2009 and countries were due to come up with cash by 2020.
Speaking on Monday, Ms Thunberg said the failure of wealthy countries to meet promised funding “simply makes no sense”.
“How can countries like me expect other countries to take climate action if we, which have been historically responsible for much more per capita than other countries, ignore it?”
Boris Johnson has also called on leaders to meet the $100bn pledge – calling it his main goal on his visit to the United Nations this week. However, their efforts to raise funds ahead of Cop26 may be hampered by Britain’s decision to reduce its own spending on foreign aid, campaigners have warned.
Green recovery from covid-19
Climate strikers are also calling for a “global, green, and just recovery” from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since the pandemic first began in 2020, experts have urged leaders to “build back greener” to ease COVID restrictions – investing more in renewable and green jobs and less in the fossil fuel industry.
However, evidence suggests that this advice has been largely ignored. An analysis published in March by the United Nations found that a fifth of the money spent by major economies on long-term COVID recovery measures could be considered “green”.
And in April, the IEA warned that global emissions from energy use are set to rise by 1.5 billion tons in 2021 – the highest annual increase since 2010 – as demand for fossil fuels returned to pre-pandemic levels.
End violence against environmental defenders
There is another demand from climate strikers for the world to take immediate action to tackle violence against environmental defenders around the world.
Data released this month showed a record 227 people were killed in 2020 to protect their land and the environment.
In August, young Kenyan environmentalist and climate activist Elizabeth Wathuti told GranthshalaThat Britain and the United Nations should do more to crack down on the killings of activists.
“No one deserves to be killed for standing up for nature,” she said. “If anything, we need to be protected.”
The UK has so far not prioritized ending violence against environmental defenders in its international climate efforts.
tackling climate and nature crisis
Many young climate activists, including Ms Thunberg, are calling on leaders to recognize the interrelationship between climate and the nature crisis.
Earth’s biodiversity is declining rapidly – and more species are at risk of extinction today than at any time in human history.
Some of the world’s leading climate and nature scientists have also called on leaders to tackle both climate and nature crises together. In a major report released in June, he warned that solutions to tackle the climate crisis could make the damage to nature worse unless efforts are made to tackle both problems simultaneously.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /