In August 2018, 16-year-old Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg walked out of class to stage a protest in front of the Swedish Parliament. Her plea? Pay attention to the climate crisis. Greta’s protest, dubbed as the “School Strike for Climate” has since been replicated around the world, with students like her hoping to raise global awareness about the risks posed by climate change. Mostly, they also voiced their frustration at the lack of action by the government given the dire circumstances.
This coming Sept. 20, you have the chance to participate in the Global Climate Strike. Different environmental organizations around the Philippines have mobilized to amplify our voices, with the strikes taking place across Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
Bringing reusable cutlery is nice and all, but we all know that real change comes from collective action. Participating in the Global Climate Strike is your chance to do that. Here’s what you need to know about the strikes in our country.
Why are we striking?
It’s simple: we want people (older generations especially) to listen and take action. Let’s be real: the reason we’re in this mess in the first place isn’t only because you decided to use a plastic straw that one time. Looking at the bigger picture, the reason our future on this planet is being jeopardized is because of greed from larger entities — entities whose big bosses might not even live long enough to deal with the consequences.
Our future is at stake, and this is why it’s important for us to reach people like them. In this case, it’s the government and bigger corporations. The Youth Strike For Climate team’s list of demands for the Philippine government include to phase out coal and other fossil fuels in the Philippines’ energy supply chain, transition to 100% renewable energy, safeguard the rights of indigenous people and environmental defenders, strengthen research and legislation, and most importantly, declare a climate emergency. The hope is that the government — and other individuals or institutions who have the influence and power to create change — pay attention to the climate crisis and do something about it.