Thousands of young people across Asia, Africa and Europe have staged a coordinated “global climate strike” as part of calls for reparations for countries worse affected by climate breakdown.
From New Zealand and Japan to Germany and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the activists walked out of schools, universities and jobs to demand that rich countries pay for the damage global heating is inflicting on the poor.
The strikes which were planned in about 450 locations worldwide and the latest day of action by the Fridays For Future movement, strikes “for climate reparations and justice” is taking place six weeks before the Cop27 climate summit, where developing countries plan to push for compensation for climate-related destruction to homes, infrastructure and livelihoods.
Recently, there has been a surge in deadly floods ravaging large parts of Pakistan, wildfires ravaging north Africa, Europe and North America and record-breaking heatwaves in Britain and India.
In his reaction, the spokesperson for the group’s chapter in Germany, Darya Sotoodeh said, “We’re striking all over the world because the governments in charge are still doing too little for climate justice,”.
It will be recalled that the biggest strike took place in Berlin, with police in the German capital estimating 20,000 took part in a rally calling on their government to set up a €100bn fund for tackling the climate crisis.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital, Kinshasa, an estimated 400 young activists gathered chanting “Act for Africa, protect our planet”. They marched on the shoulder of a busy thoroughfare carrying cardboard signs saying “Climate Justice” and “Climate SOS”.
In Rome, 5,000 young people turned out for a march that ended near the Colosseum. One carried a placard saying: “The climate is changing. Why aren’t we?”
According to reports, Denmark remains the only rich country that has so far stepped up with funding for the problem of “loss and damage” due to climate-related disasters, announcing at the UN assembly this week it would provide DKK 100m (£12m) to address it.
Inspired by Greta Thunberg’s solitary protests outside the Swedish parliament, the Fridays For Future youth movement which began in 2018, reached a high point in November 2019, when 4 million people took part in 4,500 actions worldwide on one Friday.
Story was adapted from the Guardian.