What is the Global Climate Strike? Everything You Need to Know

The Global Climate Strike, Sept. 20-27, is a global movement to draw attention to the climate crisis. On Sept. 20, people are encouraged to walk out of their schools, jobs or wherever they may be to draw attention to the movement. The week of events is inspired by climate strike walkouts at schools across the globe, organized by Fridays For Future

Throughout the week, activists around the world will be tackling localized climate issues, such as protesting pipeline expansions and highlighting the political influence of the fossil fuel industry. Check out globalclimatestrike.net for more information and for a list of events across the world. Organizers are hoping that this could be the largest global climate demonstration ever.

This walk-out comes on the heels of mounting youth leadership in the climate change movement. The world is currently home to the largest generation of young people in history, and they’re standing up for their future by organizing collective action. The urgency they bring to the debate is targeted at big businesses and politicians, many of which are not only contributing to the problem, but are also hindering the solution.

Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish activist who started demanding political action by skipping school and protesting at the Swedish parliament, has been one of the key faces of the sweeping, youth-oriented climate change movement. A demonstration in May spanned 2,300 schools in more than 150 countries. This Global Climate Strike is just the next step for mobilization in a growing movement for change.

When is the Global Climate Strike?

The Global Climate Strike begins Sept. 20 and runs through Sept. 27. The first day of the strike occurs three days before the United Nations meets in New York for an emergency climate summit. The last day lines up with Earth Strike, a general strike to save the planet.

What is the goal of the strike?

The Global Climate Strike is meant to disrupt the status quo, with millions of teachers, students and workers expected to participate. This walk-out will send a clear message that people demand a swift transition away from fossil fuels. A renewed sense of urgency and ambition is necessary to grab the attention of lawmakers who refuse to take action.

Why should I take part in the Global Climate Strike?

July 2019 was the hottest month ever recorded, making apparent that climate change is only getting worse. It also affects every aspect of life, disrupting environments across the globe and, in turn, disrupting supply chains and the global economy. Joining the Global Climate Strike will show world leaders and policymakers that people want action now. Collective pressure will force these leaders to acknowledge the issue and address it.

How effective are general strikes?

General strikes can be highly effective. A general strike involves workers across various industries and citizens in different stations of life. When a general strike is coordinated successfully, it disrupts normal day-to-day functions and economic activity, drawing attention to the intended issue. A general strike on a global scale can have massive ramifications.

How can I get involved?

You can find or start a Global Climate Strike event here.

Where can I learn more about the Global Climate Strike?

Bill McKibben – an environmental activist, author and Bioneer – writes about why we need the Global Climate Strike now. (EcoWatch)

Greta Thunberg joins New York rally organized to build momentum for the Global Climate Strike later this month. (i-D)

This timeline details how Greta Thunberg’s protests grew from one person to worldwide. (Reuters)

An open letter urging educators worldwide to cancel classes and join the Global Climate Strike was co-signed by 175 teachers. (The Guardian)

This update shows thousands pledging support to the Global Climate Strike and a list of U.S. organizations involved in the Youth Climate Strike Coalition. (350.org)

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