Greta Thunberg Leads 150 Countries in International Climate Strike

People from all over the world, led by 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg and her Fridays for Future movement, are participating in a coordinated strike today to demonstrate against the world’s inaction on climate change. 

THE DETAILS: In what will likely be one of the largest environmental protests in history, students and adults have chosen to strike ahead of the UN’s Climate Action Summit on September 23rd, asking the international body to do more for climate change. The timing of the protest is crucial, as activists hope to inspire world leaders attending the summit to enact immediate change to save the planet. Thunberg herself will be in New York City, brought over to the US on a carbon-neutral sailboat, protesting alongside over one million NYC students who have been excused to attend the strike. Across the world, thousands of people are expected to demonstrate in over 150 countries in coordination with the Global Climate Strike

UN CLIMATE ACTION SUMMIT: The summit aims to commit countries to tougher climate benchmarks and quicken the adoption of renewable energy. The gathering of nations is also a response to previously agreed on action from the 2015 Paris agreement, which hadn’t set targets to reduce carbon emissions and instead relied on countries to gradually do so on their own. The goal was to work towards limiting global warming this century to less than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. However, change has been slow and nonexistent in most cases and at the new summit, countries are expected to offer more aggressive targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions.

FRIDAYS FOR FUTURE: In 2018, 15-year-old Greta Thunberg protested in front of the Swedish parliament every school day for three weeks in response to inaction on climate change. Fridays for Future was born when Thunberg decided to start protesting every Friday until Swedish government policies were in line with the Paris agreement and took real action to reduce global warming. The movement has since spread to countries all over the world, with students and adults calling for similar climate action.

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING: “I look forward to welcoming young leaders like Greta Thunberg, and many others. I am telling leaders, don’t come to the summit with beautiful speeches. Come with concrete plans, clear steps to enhance nationally determined contributions by 2020, and strategies for carbon neutrality by 2050,” said UN Secretary General António Guterres.

Animal Equality’s International Director of Operations Antonia Vitale attends the Global Climate Strike in New York City on September 20th, 2019.

FACTORY FARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE: Raising animals for food requires massive amounts of land, food, energy, and water and causes severe environmental damage. These practices, along with rampant, unchecked pollution, are contributing to a potentially irreversible climate catastrophe. In response to this reality, a breakthrough report from the United Nations urges the public to go plant-based in order to save the planet. The report finds that an increase in plant-based eating would drastically reduce CO2 emissions.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Joining demonstrations like the Global Climate Strike and Fridays for Future ensures your voice is heard, as well as shows governments and businesses that a growing majority is demanding climate action. To make an even greater impact, consider the switch to a plant-based diet or even just reduce your meat consumption. You can also create change by altering your lifestyle to be more compassionate and environmentally friendly. Visit Love Veg for tips and recipes if you’re ready to make a change. The planet and farmed animals all over the world are counting on you.