New Zealand PM Ardern backs students striking for climate action

Frome students and teachers join protest in London

Frome students and teachers join protest in London

Kelowna is one of the over 1,200 cities and towns set to participate in the worldwide climate strike started by Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish climate activist. On March 15th an global school strike will send a clear message to policy makers around the world for urgent action against ecological collapse.

According to the climate strike's webpage, Thunberg began what was originally called the #FridaysForFuture movement in August 2018, though the movement has also adopted different titles since its inception.

The students said that they want the Government to ensure that all fossil fuels are left in the ground and called for a ban on new fossil fuel infrastructure.

Students who cut class to join protests have been rebuked by politicians, including Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison who said past year more learning and less activism was needed in schools.

Hundreds of actions are planned around the world on 15 March.

Some local and national leaders have tried to cajole or threaten students, but such efforts have mostly backfired. At the 2019 World Economic Forum in Davos, she sternly told world leaders, "I don't want you to be hopeful. Your statement belongs in a museum".

"The UK has been relatively shielded from the effects of the crisis so far, but those least responsible for contributing to climate change are already suffering the worst effects".

"What we do now needs to last to 2050 and beyond".

The crescendo of impatience expressed by youth toward their elders is not hard to understand.

That includes cutting global carbon dioxide emissions by nearly half within 12 years.

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Among the student demands are that the Government declares a climate emergency, communicates the severity of the ecological crisis to the general public and reforms the primary and post-primary educations systems to address the need for ecological literacy.

The planet is now on track to heat up by at least 4C.

In the United Kingdom, the Prime Minister condemned the climate strike as wasteful of teachers' time.

The strikes come as NGOs and environmental groups including Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and Ecowatch continue to warn of catastrophic consequences if global emissions remain unchanged.

"If adults won't comply with the rules, we won't either".

"We are going to talk with them, listen to them, hear them, we have to, climate change is the challenge they are telling us it is".

"Students throughout history have been a critical driving force of social movements".

The climate change protests have been held each Friday in cities like Oulu, Tampere and Helsinki with students leaving the classroom and going to City Hall or Parliament.

Global warming, he now predicts, will emerge as a key issue in the 2020 presidential and congressional elections.

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