Inspired by the Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, who protests every Friday outside Sweden’s parliament to urge leaders to tackle climate change, tens of thousands of young people feeling unrepresented by elected officials filled the streets all around the world launching the movement “Fridays for future”. Strikes took place in more than 100 countries, where students spilled out of schools and into the streets asking their governments to protect their future.
In UK, a poll published by the Conservative Environment Network (CER) on the day of a global climate strike found 53% of British adults support the young strikers, with only 15% opposed to the actions. That figure is even higher among young people, with 60% of 18-34 year olds backing the movement.
Despite Theresa May’s initial reserve, some members of the British government came out in support of the movement. Infact, last February a spokesperson for the British prime minister described the UK climate strike as a disruption increasing “teacher’s workloads and wastes lesson time that teachers have carefully prepared for”.
While certain Conservative lawmakers, including environment secretary Michael Gove, clean growth minister Claire Perry and former minister Richard Benyon described climate school strike as “inspirational”. In a video shared on twitter CEN (Conservative Environment Network) account, Benyon said “these are young people whose lives will be much more affected by climate change than the generations leaving them this legacy”. The environment secretary, Michael Gove, has expressed support for the strikes, saying collective action can make a “profound difference”. Also Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party leader, had already voiced support for the protesters.
According to scientific studies and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) findings, greenhouse gas emissions must be cut almost in half by 2030 to avert global environmental catastrophe. Enormous and rapid changes are needed to the way everyone on Earth eats, travels and produces energy.
Nevertheless, some scientists look optimistic, since nations are now currently near on track to avert disaster.
Seems that the rest of the world will want the UK’s pioneering technology in order to help to stop global emissions through measures such as mass tree-planting, cutting meat consumption and making planes more efficient. If it will happen, it will probably have a big impact diplomatically, too.
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