On Friday, 24 May, the second Global Climate Strike for Future will take place led by students all around the world. According to the website of Fridays for Future, the global movement following the call from Greta Thunberg to school strike for the climate, there are currently 1660 strikes registered to take place on this day. In 2018 the young Swedish student started to sit in front the Swedish parliament every Friday to protest against the lack of action on climate change until Swedish policies would be on track to fulfil the Paris Agreement temperature goal. Her actions soon became viral and students all around the globe started following her example. A first global strike took place on 15 March and according to the Fridays for Futures website, “there were at least 1.6 million strikers on all 7 continents, in more than 125 countries and in well over 2000 places.”
It is no wonder that students are concerned about their future. The IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C of Global Warming confirmed that ambitious climate action is needed, meaning a radical shift across energy, land, industrial, urban and other systems to reduce emissions is needed in order to reach the Paris Agreement temperature goal of well below 2°C global warming, aiming for 1.5°C. For the next generation, which is now protesting all around the world, to have a liveable future, these ambitious actions and transformational changes are needed now. With 2019 declared as the year of ambition featuring the UN Global Climate Action Summit hosted by the UN Secretary-General and COP25 as the COP for ambition, national governments are urged to act according to their common goals agreed upon in the Paris Agreement. However, current NDCs do not deliver, so that other actors, such as regional governments are stepping in.
The current count of government bodies (local, state, country) that have declared a Climate Emergency is 547, as of 20 May, including Climate Emergency Declarations made by Wales, Catalonia and 365 councils in Québec. So far, Ireland and the UK are the only national governments that have declared a climate emergency. In addition to governments, other actors such as universities and political parties have made such a declaration.