Feeling the heat across the world . . .
‘Climate strikes’ have been taking place today in some 117 countries around the world. Protesters are calling for more climate change action from their respective governments ahead of the United Nations Climate Action Summit set to begin in New York City on Monday. The movement is particularly strong here in Canada, with this morning’s headlines echoing protesters’ outcries from coast to coast to coast. Marches, rallies, walk-outs, and “die-ins” (a form of non-violent protest which occupies a space by feigning death) are occurring in public spaces across the country.
'No Planet B' . . .
Similar protests are occurring across the Asia Pacific, with strike participant numbers reaching into the thousands in some countries. In Thailand, where environmental reports predict disproportionately severe impacts due to climate change, over 200 young people entered the Environment Ministry in Bangkok and protested by “dying in” the building. In Indonesia, a country planning to move its national administration from a capital city sinking as a result of climate change, student protesters called for more action on the wildfires decimating the Bornean and Sumatran forests, which have caused health issues for many in the region. Similar public demonstrations are occurring in Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.
Holding governments’ feet to the fire . . .
As protesters across the world make demands of their leaders to institute more policies addressing climate change, a growing movement of young Chinese climate activists is working towards convincing Beijing to implement more radical carbon cutting policies. While no official protests were authorized in China, the world’s leading carbon emitter, members of the China Youth Climate Action Network still held a strike in front of government offices in the lead-up to the highly-anticipated meeting in New York. Following a pre-Summit communication from UN Secretary General António Guterres to all heads of state, both U.S. President Trump and Australian Prime Minister Morrison said that they will not be attending the summit. It remains to be seen how other world leaders in attendance will synthesize today’s global demand for action.