From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Global Climate Strike movement
Mains level : Consequences of inaction on climate change
- Students in more than 2,000 cities across the world are holding demonstrations under the #FridaysforFuture movement, protesting inaction towards climate change.
The Global Climate Strike movement
- The #FridaysforFuture movement, also known as the Youth Strike for Climate Movement was started in August 2018 by Greta Thunberg.
- She sat outside the Swedish parliament every school day for three weeks to protest against inaction towards climate change and called for concrete government action.
- Then in September 2018, Thunberg called for a strike every Friday until the Swedish parliament revised its policies towards climate change.
- Gradually, students and adults from across the world started mobilizing and demonstrating in front of parliaments and local city halls in their respective countries, making global, a local movement.
Who is Greta Thunberg?
- Thunberg describes herself as a “16-year-old climate activist with Asperger’s”.
- She says that she first heard about “something called climate change or global warming” when she was eight years old.
- Since 2018, when she started skipping school, Thunberg has come a long way to become one of the world’s youngest climate change crusaders.
- She has delivered speeches at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the EU Parliament, COP24, and to the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
- Earlier this year, she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 2019, the winners of which will be announced in October.
Why such strike?
- In the present phase of the strikes, students are demanding “urgent” and “decisive” action in order to keep global average temperatures from rising above 1.5 degree Celsius.
- The global strikes will commence just as the United Nations Climate Action Summit 2019 is set to take place in New York on September 23, where Thunberg has been invited.
What started the global school student movements?
- The global school movements began in 2015.
- A Climate Strike was organised in November 2015, the idea for which came to the organisers at the Global Youth Summit of 2015.
- Under this strike, students were urged to skip school and join other protestors. The strike was meant to be a “wake-up call” for the young generation.
- Their demands at that time were to stop the extraction of fossil fuels and to make the transition to 100 per cent clean energy.
Why are students protesting this time?
- Even though climate change affects everyone, the present generation of youngsters is the ones who are going to be bearing the brunt of it in the coming decades.
- The sentiments behind these are the “broken promises” of older generations, members of which continue to extract and use fossil fuels, leading to increased CO2 emissions and subsequently, increasing average global temperatures.
- Distrust of political leaders among the younger generation is also a reason why they feel the need to take things into their own hands.