Adults will join young activists in more than 150 demonstrations across the UK today, September 20th, as part of the largest ever “global climate strike”.
The movement, inspired by Greta Thunberg, began with children going on strike from school to protest about environmental issues.
In February, an estimated 15,000 children took part in protests, part of a wider global movement known as “Schools 4 Climate Action”.
However, the latest strike is expected to register far greater numbers as parents and workers are encouraged to join in to demand urgent action on the climate crisis.
Globally, more than 2,500 businesses are expected to support the strikes, either by closing up shop for the day or allowing their staff to join the protests. Some 6,300 websites will be “green-screened”, directing visitors to the climate strike website.
Jessica Ahmed, 16, from the UK Student Climate Network, which is helping coordinate the strikes here, said the government’s “failure to tackle climate change and implement effective policies can’t be ignored anymore”.
She added: “On September 20th, millions of people will be taking action globally, demanding change and policies that will protect our future, such as a Green New Deal. Instead of focusing all their energy on Brexit, we desperately need our politicians to put their time, resources and money towards dealing with the worsening climate emergency. Time is running out.”
UKSCN research shows that 60% of the public have no confidence in the government’s willingness to tackle climate change, whilst 74% believe the government cares more about delivering Brexit than combating climate change. Some 51% claim that climate change policy will be a major factor in the way they vote in the next general election, rising to 68% amongst 18-24-year-olds.