JAISAL NOOR: Tens of thousands of youth in more than 90 countries skipped class on Friday, March 15 to demand adults take real steps to address climate change.
One of the largest demonstrations was held in London, England. The Real News spoke with protesters who took to the streets to demand climate justice.
SPEAKER: I’m here today because it’s not acceptable, the government’s action on climate change. They need to be doing more. It’s our future.
SPEAKER: Climate change is a big problem. Why wouldn’t I support it? I mean, it’s our planet, and I’m going to be here when everyone’s gone.
SPEAKER: I’m 14.
SPEAKER: And I’m 13.
SPEAKER: And we’re here because we believe that-
SPEAKER: Our climate needs justice.
SPEAKER: It definitely needs justice. The government aren’t going to do anything about it, and we have to now.
SPEAKER: We demand climate justice for our country and the world.
SPEAKER: If we don’t do something soon, there’ll be no world to live in. Don’t worry about Brexit, worry about climate change.
SPEAKER: Only have 12 years to get it down 45 percent. It’s not going anywhere. So we need to do something.
JAISAL NOOR: They cite the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change findings that we just have 11 years to keep emissions below 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial temperatures and avoid irreversible catastrophic damage. They say they demand the world’s decisionmakers take responsibility and solve this crisis.
The global youth climate strike is an offshoot of Fridays for Future movement, started by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. Last August she began cutting class on Fridays to protest outside Sweden’s parliament building. In December, she addressed world leaders at the UN’s climate summit, or COP24, in Poland.
GRETA THUNBERG: You only talk about moving forward with the same bad ideas that got us into this mess, even when the only sensible thing to do is pull the emergency brake.
JAISAL NOOR: Last month, British Prime Minister Theresa May criticised the protests, saying “The disruption increases teachers’s workloads, and wastes lesson time that teachers have carefully prepared for.
But the youth activists disagree.
SPEAKER: Theresa May, wherever you are, if you are seeing this, this protest is not a waste of time. We are the younger generation, we are the new generation, the new school coming in. We want change. You should listen to that.
SPEAKER: She’s wasting our time by not acting now.
SPEAKER: Climate change is a priority of our nation and of our world.
SPEAKER: It’s our planet. If climate change goes through, all of these places are going to be flooded. We need to do something.
JAISAL NOOR: And the Global Climate Strike is just the beginning for their movement, they said. For The Real News, this is Jaisal Noor in London, England.