Millions join Global Climate Strike

Posted by Elise Kirsten on 20 September 2019

Millions of people across the world have joined in the Global Climate Strike today, 20 September 2019, being led by youth climate activist Greta Thunberg, who is in New York ahead of the UN Climate Action Summit.

The groundswell of strikers, made up of workers, school children, students and ‘mums’ began in Australia with an estimated half-a-million people showing their support.

‘100,000 people rallied in Melbourne, and with protests in more than 100 locations around Australia, it is estimated the total crowd reached 500,000,’ Australian 9News reported.

Strikers from India, Japan, South East Asia and even the Solomon Islands joined in, followed by those in Europe and Africa. In the United States people are expected to join later today.

Although schools in the US are very strict about attendance, New York’s Department of Education has said that its 1.1-million students will be allowed to skip class and participate (with their parents’ permission).

The idea of bunking school on a Friday to show support for the environment began with 16-year-old Greta Thunberg last year in August.

After the hottest summer in Sweden in 262 years, resulting in wildfires, the teen decided to skip school and stage sit-ins outside parliament until the 2018 Swedish general election on 9 September.

According to the Guardian which reported on a recent poll, ‘climate breakdown is viewed as the most important issue facing the world, ahead of migration, terrorism and the global economy, in seven out of the eight countries surveyed.’

It’s therefore unsurprising that today’s climate demonstrations will be the world’s largest ever.

A number of companies like Amazon and Google have also shown their support and CNN reports that employees from those companies are striking. Cosmetic company Lush has also shut its doors in the US, Canada and Singapore, however, Lush stores in South Africa have not been able to get agreement from shopping centre landlords. Lush SA has however shut down its social media for the day to show support.

Image: Getty Images

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