Student-led global climate change protests

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jerrym

On November 29th, as global climate action strikes were getting under way, climat action leaders Greta Thunberg of Sweden, Luisa Neubauer of Germany, and Angela Valenzuela of Chile wrote an op-ed to the UN Climate Change Conference occurring in Madrid  next week as student strikes continued. 

Thousands of students participated in the global climate strike

Thousands of students participated in the global climate strike on Nov. 29, 2019 in Rome, Italy. (Photo: Simona Granati - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

People worldwide poured into the streets Friday for a youth-led climate strike that aimed to pressure global governments to step up their efforts to tackle the planetary emergency at a key United Nations summit scheduled to start Monday.

"Striking is not a choice we relish; we do it because we see no other options," youth climate leaders Greta Thunberg of Sweden, Luisa Neubauer of Germany, and Angela Valenzuela of Chile wroteFriday in an op-ed for Project Syndicate.

"We have watched a string of United Nations climate conferences unfold," they added. "Countless negotiations have produced much-hyped but ultimately empty commitments from the world's governments—the same governments that allow fossil fuel companies to drill for ever-more oil and gas, and burn away our futures for their profit."

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/11/29/we-see-no-other-options-you...

jerrym

At the Philippines student strike (url includes video of strike)

HAPPENING NOW: #ClimateStrike in Manila supporting the call for #climatejustice!

Youth climate strikers and civil society organizations are calling on the Philippine government to hold major carbon emitters responsible for the #climateemergency we are in.

https://twitter.com/gpph/status/1200344310819934208

jerrym

In New Delhi India the student strike on November 29th was about climate change and the city's massive pollution problem

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jerrym

In Hong Kong many protesters took time out from protesting against Bejing's dominance to protest against climate change

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jerrym

From Columbia South America

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jerrym

In South Africa 

Demonstrator show their placards during climate change protest outside the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Johannesburg, South Africa, Friday, Nov. 29, 2019.  Environmentalists around the world are joining a global day of protests Friday, in a symbolic gesture to demand that governments act against climate change. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell) (jens meyer/Associated Press)

Demonstrator show their placards during climate change protest outside the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Johannesburg, South Africa, Friday, Nov. 29, 2019.

Protesters in cities across the world staged rallies Friday demanding leaders take tougher action against climate change, days before the latest global conference, which this year takes place in Madrid. ...

Further rallies took place in Germany, Hungary, Belgium, South Korea, Poland, England, Turkey, Italy, Spain and France — where environmental protesters took a swipe at Black Friday. ...

In South Africa, a few dozen people holdings signs saying “Not Cool” and “Stop Pollution Now” protested outside the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in the summer heat of the Southern Hemisphere.

One protester lay on the ground faking death, holding a sign saying “Black Friday Reason to Grieve.”

Africa contributes least to climate change and is the least prepared to deal with it. Temperatures in parts of the continent are projected to rise more quickly than the global average.

“The reality is that we have a climate change emergency,” protest organizer Elana Azrai said. She noted water shortages in parts of the country amid a drought in southern Africa.

https://www.columbian.com/news/2019/nov/29/global-climate-protests-ahead...

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

#ClimateRoundDance #ywg #Treaty1

Beautiful round dance celebrating Indigenous sovereignty for ecological justice at Polo Park mall in Winnipeg! Resisting the dominant consumer culture is one real way of honouring Earth Mother.

Shout out to Manitoba Youth for Climate Action for organizing a great action in Winnipeg!

jerrym

Victoria BC also held a student strike for climate action on November 29th that focused on the Green New Deal and ending BC's LNG projects. 

 

Youth climate protest

Traffic was diverted along Blanshard Street on Friday as Victoria students marched in a climate rally: Nov. 29, 2019 (CTV News)

The rally began in Centennial Square at approximately noon before youth activists marched southbound on Blanshard Street towards the office of B.C.'s Ministry of Energy, Mines & Petroleum Resources.

Student activists say they are calling on the government to begin a structured transition into greener sources of energy so that the province can become less dependent on coal and liquefied natural gas (LNG). ...

"So this specific strike we're targeting LNG and the Green New Deal and right now, the B.C. government is putting millions of dollars into LNG projects that will lock B.C into decades of GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions and we have to stop that," said Victoria student Grace Sinats. "If we allow them to put this much money into projects that will destroy our planet, there is no hope," said Sinats.  ...

"There are now people that think they can have this energy transition in 10 years, well, be my guest," said van der Hoeven. "It's impossible."

"It's not only about energy transition, it's also about an economic transition and it's about a societal transition," said van der Hoeven. "You know, the biggest issue ... is there will be new winners and new losers. That means if people feel they are being left behind, they will be protesting because they are not going to accept this.”

Students at Victoria's youth protest said that while they are calling on the government to transition away from LNG, they were aware of the challenges that workers in the industry may face.

"Not only do we wish for LNG and fracking to have a smooth decline, but we need a just transition for all workers," said Victoria student Elliott Anderson. "If we just stop plain-out and there’s no training for workers to go to a new place, our economy will collapse and there's nothing we can do about it. We need a just transition so that workers can continue to sustain families and themselves," said Anderson. ...

"I feel like a lot of the time people can forget about the strikes pretty quickly," said Sintas. "Like it’s this big event and then not a lot happens. So, I feel like having regular strikes is really important to remind people that this is still an issue and it’s not going to be solved overnight."

https://vancouverisland.ctvnews.ca/student-activists-occupy-downtown-vic...

 

jerrym

The climate action strike in Vancouver focused on consumerism on Black Friday. 

Black Friday is the busiest retail day of the year and capitalist consumerism is based on the assumption that consumpiton can grow forever without destroying the planet.

Supporters of the Extinction Rebellion movement take part in a protest and funeral march for the environment Friday, November 29, 2019 in downtown Vancouver, BC. JASON PAYNE /  PNG

“Nov. 29 is Black Friday. On this day, huge corporations exploit consumers by encouraging us to buy more and more. Their ‘special offers”’ trigger a sense of urgency and ‘exceptional opportunity’ to consumers, resulting in an overconsumption of unnecessary goods,” the group, which also goes by XR, states on its Facebook page.“We will mourn for the future of our planet, our ecosystems, and the lives lost due to climate crisis, human and non-human,” XR said.

Participants were invited to wear funeral attire to the event, which began at 1 p.m. at Art Phillips Park on Burrard Street. ...

The march concluded at Robson and Burrard, where Extinction Rebellion shut down the intersection for a post-funeral wake that included a garment repair station, screen printing activities, clothing swap and live performances.

https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/climate-activists-protest-mass-...

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

AURORA - The Seed

quote: 

You cannot eat money, oh no

You cannot eat money oh no

When the last tree has fallen and the rivers are poisoned, You cannot eat money oh no

You cannot eat money, oh no

You cannot eat money oh no

When the last tree has fallen and the rivers are poisoned, You cannot eat money oh no

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Tomorrow, December 6th youth and adults from around the world, including and will climate strike in Madrid. Start: 18h, Atocha-Nuevos Ministerios. Join us!

jerrym

There  were 500,000 protesters at the climate strike in Madrid on Friday where the UN COP 25 climate change conference was being held. 

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As Greta Thunberg and other activists spoke at a rally, an estimated 500,000 people took part in a climate justice protest in Madrid on Friday, December 6, 2019. (Photo: @GretaThunberg)

Before taking part in a 500,000-strong climate march in Madrid, teen activist Greta Thunberg spoke plainly yet forcefully Friday about the impact the global climate strike movement has had thus far and reiterated the demand of the climate justice movement for global leaders to act with the urgency the planet's ecological emergency mandates.

Speaking to reporters at the cultural center La Casa Encendida in Madrid, Spain—where COP 25 is underway—Thunberg called herself "just... a climate activist—a small part of a big movement" that needs even more activists to effect change. ...

"I sincerely hope that the COP 25 will lead to something concrete and that will lead to also an increase in awareness among people in general." She said she hopes that those in power "grasp the urgency of the climate crisis because right now it doesn't seem like they are. I know that we will do everything we can to make sure that this is something that cannot be ignored anymore, that they cannot just hide away anymore," Thunberg said. Some world leaders "are afraid of change," she said, but the status quo must be disrupted.

"Some people want everything to continue like now, and change is what we young people are bringing. And that's why they are trying to silence us. But that is just proof that we are having an impact, that our voices are being heard," Thunberg said, and is the reason powerful opponents "try so desperately to silence us." ...

Thunberg suggested that COP 25 may be viewed "as a kind of middle year," with next year's COP 26 seen as "the big event. But we cannot afford middle years," the Swedish teen said. "We cannot afford more days going by without real action being taken." COP 25, said Thunberg, mustn't be brushed off "because every chance we get to improve the situation we must take." ...

"We have been striking now for over a year and still, basically, nothing has happened," said Thunberg. "The climate crisis is still being ignored by those in power and we cannot go on like this. It is not a sustainable solution that children skip school." The strikers, Thunberg said, "don't want to continue. We would love some action from the people in power... because people are suffering and dying from the climate and ecological emergency today and we cannot wait any longer."

A lot has been achieved, added Thunberg. "We have have raised public awareness and we have created opinion and that is a big step in the right direction. But of course it's nowhere near enough. The CO2 emissions aren't reducing. They are in fact increasing," Thunberg continued, "so of course there is no victory because the only thing we want to see is real action and real action has not been happening. So of course we have achieved a lot," she added, "but if you look at it from a certain point of view we have achieved nothing."

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/12/06/even-500000-march-madrid-gr...

jerrym

Yukon Regional Chief Kluane Adamek, who is taking part in the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform of the UN COP 25 Climate Change Conference in Madrid, answered questions on the concerns of indigenous and others living in northern Canada just before she left for COP 25.

 

Kluane Adamek

Kluane Adamek Yukon Regional Chief and UN COP 25 Climate Change Conference Delegate

As the regional chief for the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Yukon Region, and national chair for the AFN environment and climate change portfolio and committee, I am deeply honoured to be representing the AFN and First Nations, and the North, at my second United Nations Conference of the Parties event — this year in Madrid, Spain — as head of the AFN delegation. ...

One of the focus areas for involvement at the conference will be the Indigenous Peoples platform [formally called the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform], uniting voices of Indigenous Peoples from across the world. My hope for this conference is that the recognition of Indigenous rights be at the forefront of all discussions, and that Indigenous Peoples are recognized as leaders in creating the pathways forward that will mitigate the impacts of climate change and create a just future for all beings on the planet. ...

When it comes to environmental priorities and policy concerns, we need to acknowledge and appreciate that things are very different in the northern and rural communities and especially in the North. Decisions that impact the North need to be made by northerners. The impacts of climate change affect northern regions two to three times faster than the rest of the globe. So, we experience firsthand the accelerated and disproportionate impacts of climate change, particularly in our First Nations and remote communities. I’m talking about changes happening on the land that are directly impacting ways of life for our people. I will continue to push for full implementation of our modern treaty agreements, including self-government and land claims agreements, and I will continue to elevate the environmental and cultural strides being made by our Yukon First Nations. ...

This includes advocating for change with respect to climate action at all levels, honouring the spirit and intent of modern treaties and advancing the Calls for Justice identified in the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. ...

The Yukon continues to demonstrate exceptional leadership at all levels, from the community level to First Nations and municipal and territorial governments. Collectively, this leadership has contributed to an increased momentum and political traction for climate action and the implementation of solutions. Yukon First Nations have an important history of governance leadership stemming from the monumental 1973 document titled Together Today for our Children Tomorrow. On climate specifically — an issue that affects our health, economy, culture, virtually everything — we are driving forward on a “Yukon that Leads” vision that builds on the important history of leadership in this region and elevates the work being done today.

There are some particularly important things to highlight from the Yukon region in terms of the development of a climate action strategy across governments and communities. In May, Chief Tizya-Tramm of the Vuntut Gwiychin First Nation declared a climate state of emergency, which really communicated the urgency of addressing climate change impacts on our communities in the North. This set a precedent not only in the Yukon, but across Canada and beyond.

This June, at the AFN Yukon Regional Annual Summit, our leaders passed a climate action resolution, calling for the development of a Yukon First Nations climate gathering — a forum dedicated to highlighting and building on the important environment work being done in our communities and uniting Yukon First Nations around this incredibly complex challenge. My team and the Council of Yukon First Nations are working collaboratively to plan this gathering and create a unified Yukon First Nations declaration on climate action that can serve as the foundation for a Yukon First Nations Climate Strategy. ...

Simultaneously, two other important actions are taking place: First, the AFN national environment sector is working to develop an Indigenous lens for climate strategy. Second, the Yukon territorial government is in the midst of developing a climate strategy. ...

I strongly and continually advocate for the creation of space and platform for those voices that don’t generally take the main stage. I am incredibly passionate about giving our youth — our leaders of the future — every opportunity that we can to ensure that their voices are heard. We need to lift up and celebrate our young leaders, and the countless others — including our elders and women — that work diligently and tirelessly to strive for the equality of our people and the healing of our planet.

https://www.opencanada.org/features/five-questions-with-yukon-regional-c...

 

jerrym

Indigenous youth from around the world are demanding action on climate change and social justice issues at COP 25 in Madrid. 

A man raises his left arm in protest.

An activist speaks at a protest about the destruction brought by carbon markets and carbon offsets at the venue of the UN climate change conference (COP25) in Madrid, Spain, Dec.5, 2019.

A worldwide climate change movement is well underway, highlighted by strikes, protests and school walkouts increasingly led by young people. And this week in Spain, that message is being delivered by a diverse group of young, Indigenous people from around the globe to the United Nations. ...

“We’re realizing that our leadership ... is not taking the mandatory steps to save our future and [we have] to step into that position …" (Nanieezh Peter, 15, Alaska Federation of Natives convention, Fairbanks, Alaska)

Peter Nanieezh and his best friend, Quannah Chasing Horse Potts, 17, both Alaksa Native, successfully convinced their leaders to declare a climate change emergency in Alaska, the northernmost state in the US. Their request for the emergency declaration on the debate floor in a hockey arena in Fairbanks, Alaska, sparked a fervent and hours-long debate during the annual convention. 

Indigenous youth voices have historically been silenced in the fight against climate change. For many decades, if not centuries, Indigenous people in Alaska, Canada and elsewhere were forced to abandon their cultural heritage, traditions and in some cases, their homelands. Those who spoke out were often punished. But now, their grandchildren are finding a voice. 

On Thursday, Dec. 5, the Indigenous Climate Action Youth Delegation sent a letter to Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Johnathan Wilkinson. The delegation is concerned that the international agreement on greenhouse gas mitigation, the Paris agreement, is “disproportionately focused on market-based climate solutions.” They wrote carbon-based markets “further enable the colonial legacy of dispossession, privatization, violence against Indigenous women and girls and destruction of Indigenous lands and culture for fossil fuel extraction.”

“Young people in this period of history, they’re no longer afraid to speak up, they’re no longer afraid of policy, they’re no longer afraid of the government, they’re no longer afraid of speaking their mind .... (Ben Charles, Inuit Circumpolar Council)

Ben Charles, who is also Alaska Native, and recently named an emerging leader by the Inuit Circumpolar Council, said, “Young people in this period of history, they’re no longer afraid to speak up, they’re no longer afraid of policy, they’re no longer afraid of the government, they’re no longer afraid of speaking their mind …" The international organization represents more than 180,000 Indigenous people in four Arctic nations. ...

Inuit aren’t the only Indigenous people represented at the meeting. Representatives of the Rapa Nui and Mapuche Indigenous Peoples of Chile are also in Spain for the meeting. SustainUS, an American nonprofit, has sent its first-ever delegation of Indigenous young people to Madrid.

In New Zealand, a group of young Maori adults who are indigenous to the region spent at least a month fundraising to cover their travel expenses to the UN Climate Summit. And on Friday, a group of First Nations kids will premiere a documentary film they produced about their first-hand climate change experience in northern Canada. 

https://www.pri.org/stories/2019-12-05/indigenous-youth-take-global-stag...

 

jerrym

Three days after the 500,000 person protest at the UN COP25 Climate Change Conference, Greta Thunberg and young indigenous leaders spoke out about the enormous impact global warming is having on their societies. 

 Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

Sweden’s Greta Thunberg (centre) with representatives of indigenous people at the COP25 climate conference in Madrid, Spain. Photograph: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

Greta Thunberg turned a spotlight on the struggles of the world’s indigenous peoples when she appeared at the UN climate conference alongside young campaigners experiencing the consequences of an overheating world first-hand.

The Swedish teenager, who arrived at COP25 in Madrid after crossing the Atlantic by catamaran, said she was availing of “some media attention” to give a voice to people whose stories needed to be listened to, including those from Africa and places where climate activism is actively suppressed.

She stayed largely silent during her first official appearance at the summit to allow a young Native American, a Chilean, a Pacific islander, a Russian and a Filipino to speak. 

“Their rights are being violated across the world, and they are also among the ones being hit the most and the quickest by the climate and environmental emergency,” she said.

Their testimonies indicated the emergency was not an issue for today’s children when they grow up, Ms Thunberg said. “People are suffering and dying from it today.”

Rose Whipple of the Santee Dakota, native to Minnesota in the US, said: “The climate crisis is a spiritual crisis for our entire world. Our solutions must weave science and spirituality and traditional ecological knowledge with technology.” 

She described the decline of the Mississippi, a “sacred river that fed people for thousands of years”, and her people’s failed attempt to halt a Limetree oil pipeline in the courts. She said “the system continues to value corporate profit over indigenous lives”. ...

“While countries congratulate each other for their weak commitments, the world is literally burning out,” said Chilean activist Angela Valenzuela

She said the people of Chile were not protesting about 30 pesos but 30 years of governments “that failed to protect us and fuelled the climate crisis for the benefit of a few”. ...

The low-lying Marshall Islands was the first nation to comply with a requirement in the Paris Agreement to scale-up its planned emissions reductions in 2018 – a move bigger emitters are under pressure to follow by next year.

Carlon Zackhras, representing the atoll nation, said rising sea levels threatened his home, which is only two metres above the waterline. “We are having to deal with issues we did not create.”

He said two weeks ago the island had its latest inundation, while infectious diseases such as dengue fever and measles were being made worse by global warming. “Migration is the only plan B.” 

Arshak Makichyan from Russia said a year ago he knew nothing about the climate crisis. When he heard Thunberg say “the world is on fire” he believed it was a metaphor. Seeing fires in the Amazon and Congo last summer proved otherwise. 

He has been arrested for protesting in solidarity with the global Fridays For Future movement and detained for a few days but that did not bother him. It was an action he expected to be repeated. ...

The Madrid meeting was supposed to be a “blue cop” to underline the importance of oceans, but negotiating nations had not brought the issue centre stage, said Kisha Erah Muana from the Philippines

As a consequence the colourful coral and rich marine life “is a playground I once knew” that no longer existed.

At the conclusion of the briefing, Thunberg said indigenous people had lived in balance with nature for many hundreds of years, and had valuable knowledge that needed to be taken on board “in this crucial time of crisis”.

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/thunberg-takes-climate-stanc...

jerrym

Greta Thunberg has won Time's Person of the Year Award, reflecting the growing impact of young people's demand for quick and strong action on global warming. 

 Greta Thunberg is TIME's 2019 Person of the Year.

"She became the biggest voice on the biggest issue facing the planet this year, coming from essentially nowhere to lead a worldwide movement," Time editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal told the show, adding that Thunberg is the magazine's youngest choice ever to be named Person of the Year. ...

Her initiative to strike galvanized students to protest against climate change throughout Europe and that momentum quickly fanned across the globe, becoming the “Fridays For Future" movement.

Her solo protest, Fensenthal noted, eventually prompted millions of people in 150 countries "to act on behalf of the planet."

He also said that Thunberg "represents a broader generational shift in the culture" — with youth standing up for what they believe in — from Hong Kong to Chile.

"Young people are demanding change, and urgently," Felsenthal said. "She embodies youth activism."

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/greta-thunberg-time-s-2019-person-y...

jerrym

First Nations youth at the UN COP25 meeting in Madrid are demonstrating against a new massive oilsands mine expansion proposal, Teck Resources' proposed Frontier project, which would be 292 square kilometres, one of the largest oilsands mines to date. As is so often the case, the oilsands mine will be in the middle of indigenous territory, so that they bear the brunt of local pollution that is in addition to the drastic increase in greenhouse gas emissions. The federal and provincial governments are looking at whether or not to approve Teck's Frontier mine project, one of Kenney's demands of cooperation from Trudeau.  

Image result for picture indigenous youth at COP25 reject Teck

First Nations youth from Canada are at a United Nations climate change conference in Madrid, Spain, demonstrating against a massive proposed oilsands mine in Alberta.

The provincial government of Alberta and the federal government are considering approval for what would be one of the largest oilsands open pits ever built. 

"This is taking us in the wrong direction," said Eriel Deranger, executive director of Indigenous Climate Action (ICA) and a member of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation in Alberta. ICA is an Indigenous-led organization that doesn't accept funding from corporate or government sources. It runs based on individual donations. ...

Teck Resources' proposed Frontier project would be 292 square kilometres, one of the largest oilsands mines to date.

At full capacity, the Frontier project would extract 260,000 barrels of bitumen a day. Oil sands are a mixture of sand, clay, water and bitumen, which has to be extracted before it is refined into synthetic crude oil.  ...

The operation would be located 100 km north of Fort McMurray — 17 km from Poplar Point First Nation and 30 km from the boundary of Wood Buffalo National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site. ...

According to the Pembina Institute, the Frontier project would contribute six megatonnes of carbon emissions annually. 

"The biggest thing why this is so relevant in the climate negotiations is this project will create six megatonnes of emissions annually and has a life cycle of over 40 years," Deranger said.

"We're talking about setting emissions caps, and in our country we're talking about truth and reconciliation with Indigenous communities. We're talking about conservation and protecting the last remaining biodiverse regions of the world. And this project violates every single commitment Canada has made." 

In 2016, Alberta set an emissions cap on oilsands operations of 100 megatonnes annually. The Pembina Institute estimated oilsands emissions at 77 megatonnes in 2018. 

"We want to remind the Canadian government of their responsibility to stolen lands, and remind the world that climate change is not just a random phenomenon, it is the result of a destructive colonial relationship with the natural world," said Ta'kaiya Blaney who is an ICA Indigenous Youth Delegate and member of Tla A'min Nation located along the southwest B.C. coast. 

"Climate change is a colonial problem and to successfully fight climate change we need Indigenous rights. We need Indigenous sovereignty and Indigenous solutions."

https://www.cbc.ca/news/indigenous/first-nations-youth-oilsands-madrid-c...

jerrym

The Executive Director of Indigenous Climate Action, Eriel Deranger, discusses the protests at the Canadian embassy and at COP25 over Canadian pipelines and the proposed Teck Frontier oilsands mine in Alberta in the Democracy Now url video below.

Image result for picture of Canadian indigenous protest at COP25

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BP1FHvcrBM8&list=PL0F1F946BD995C654&inde...

jerrym

Fifteen young people, including Greta Thunberg, have signed a letter asking Trudeau to block any new oil and gas projects and to quickly shift out of any current fossil fuel production. Unfortunately, this isn't going to happen but the youth realize they will be the biggest losers as fossil fuel production continues. 

Fifteen young people co-signed a Dec. 10, 2019 letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to block any new oil and gas projects and move quickly to phase out existing production. Photos compiled by Alastair Sharp via https://childrenvsclimatecrisis.org 

The group of youth from across the world said Canada has taken a leading role globally in pushing for climate action, but must apply the same commitment domestically, in a letter addressed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and dated Dec. 10, Human Rights Day.

"Canada must apply its international climate leadership to all domestic action," the letter says. "It must demonstrate how a major fossil fuels producer and exporter can transition away from these pollutants, blazing a trail for other fossil fuel-reliant economies to follow."

They also wrote separately to Norway, another developed economy with a major and still-expanding oil and gas industry, with similar demands. ...

The group — which in September filed a complaint at the United Nations against Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany and Turkey — argues that climate inaction amounts to a violation of the rights of children, who will bear the brunt of the negative effects of a warming planet.

Trudeau has sought to align himself with Thunberg, who has galvanized the world’s young people to demand action on climate change after she started skipping school last year to protest outside the Swedish parliament. They met in September ahead of a massive climate march in Montreal, which they both took part in.

Canada is the world's fourth-largest producer and exporter of oil, which mostly comes from the oil-rich province of Alberta and mostly goes to the United States. The combustion of oil and gas releases carbon and other gases into the atmosphere, creating a greenhouse effect that traps heat and is leading to more frequent and more extreme weather events and rising sea levels. ...

Canada is currently considering an application from Teck Resources to develop the $20-billion, 260,000-barrel-per-day Frontier project abutting the Athabasca River in Alberta's northeast, which, if approved, would be the first new open-pit petroleum-mining construction in the country's oilpatch in many years. The government's decision is due by the end of February. 

Canada "must demonstrate how a major fossil fuels producer and exporter can transition away from these pollutants," @GretaThunberg and other youth write in letter to @JustinTrudeau, calling for a block on all new oil and gas projects.

The letter also refers to other expansion activities, including the nearly complete 1,600-kilometre Line 3 pipeline between Alberta and Wisconsin, and the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, which Ottawa bought last year and which, if built, would triple the capacity of that route from the oilsands to the British Columbia coast.

The Line 3 pipeline alone could boost Canada's oil production by 10 per cent. Canada's overall oil production is projected to expand by 60 per cent between 2017 and 2040, while gas production is set to expand by 34 per cent, they said.

Canada "must end the development and export of new oil and gas reserves, and set a plan to quickly phase out existing production fields," says the letter, written by Michael Hausfeld, the youth group's legal counsel. "It must stop prioritizing short-term economic gains over the future of its children and all children around the world."

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2019/12/09/news/greta-thunberg-and-othe...

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

COP25 Was a Failure, But Activists’ Collective Organizing at the Talks Was Unprecedented

quote:

Tasneem Essop in Cape Town, South Africa, we give you the last word here, and it is around the awareness especially young people have brought to the world around the urgency of this problem, and where you see that activism going now, even if the COP was a monumental failure.

TASNEEM ESSOP: Yes. We recognize that this is going to be in our hands. So, citizens across the world, the youth, indigenous, women, the workers, all of us have to be united. It is amazing, the youth leadership on this issue in the past year, of course, putting the issue of the science firmly on the agenda, the fact that we are in a climate emergency. And so, together with the rising up of young people today and the very many, many peoples across the world who have been fighting this on the frontlines, who have been losing their lives for protecting the environment and to address, you know, the extractive industries, like the fossil fuel companies, destroying the planet, and have sacrificed their lives for this, this kind of growing unity is becoming more and more clear and stronger.

And I think, as Asad said, linked to the protests on the economic injustices and the social injustices, I think that what we can witness and what we’re going to witness is much bigger, powerful movements across the world and holding their governments into account. But not only just accountability, there has to be consequences for the inaction. So I think, Amy, we are going to see, I believe, much stronger movements. They’re not going to tolerate inaction by their governments, whether — you know, not just developed countries, but in all of the countries. The major emitters, like South Africa, for example, will also be witnessing movements against the kind of continued use of coal in the country. So, yeah, I think that the hope now will have to come from us, the people. And some of this unity was already demonstrated in the UNFCCC process now in the past two weeks. And it can only grow stronger and stronger.

jerrym

The failure of political leadership to deal with climate change at COP25 as we hurtle towards global warming catastrophe is staggering. However, led by young people the resistance continues. Hundreds of millions of lives depend on it. 

Demonstrators protest outside the UN Climate Change Conference COP25

Demonstrators protest outside the UN Climate Change Conference COP25

The UK faces the task of breaking the deadlock on international climate negotiations next year, after the COP25 talks ended in Madrid yesterday with no new ambition and little progress.

The meeting overran to become the longest climate summit yet as delegates from nearly 200 countries struggled to reach agreement on key issues on the framework underpinning the Paris climate deal. Drawing up rules on a carbon market between countries has been deferred until next year, when the UK hosts a landmark climate summit in Glasgow.

António Guterres, the UN secretary general, said he was disappointed with the outcome, and that leaders had missed an opportunity to be more ambitious on climate change mitigation, adaptation and finance for poorer countries. “But we must not give up, and I will not give up,” he tweeted. ...

Claire Perry O’Neill, the former UK climate minister who will be president of the Glasgow summit, argued it was better to have no deal on the carbon markets than a bad one. The UK would “pull no punches” in making the scheme work for everyone next year, she tweeted.

There was also no progress on “loss and damage” – the principle of vulnerable countries hit by climate-linked damage being able to claim economic losses from richer ones – and long-term financing to help poorer countries.

Scientists said the “minimum compromise” achieved in Madrid means the Glasgow meeting will now need to be a turning point. “Postponing all the relevant issues is hardly in line with the climate emergency that we scientists highlighted during COP25,” said Johan Rockström at the University of Potsdam, Germany, in a statement. The WWF said the summit showed “a staggering failure of leadership by some countries”.

The intransigence of big polluters – including China, the US, Brazil and India – at the meeting led to the European Union, small island states and members of the public expressing frustration. This culminated in a protest at the summit where about 200 campaigners were marched out of the conference by security, though they were later allowed back.

The UN said that more than 70 countries are expected to submit stronger plans to curb carbon emissions next year, ahead of the Glasgow summit.

www.newscientist.com/article/2227541-cop25-climate-summit-ends-in-staggering-failure-of-leadership/#ixzz68Kxk6FUA

jerrym

In the url below is a partial lists of student strikes around the world since 2018. The strikes began on 20 August 2018, when Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg went on strike daily for several weeks, before switching to striking every Friday. The days of the largest strikes have been 15 March (over a million people), 20 September (4 million people) and 27 September (2 million people) and in Madrid on December 6th in response to the Madrid UN Cop25 Climate Change Conference (1 million +). 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_school_climate_strikes

 

 

 

jerrym

Students continue to lead climate change protests around the world including in India.

  • On January 1, students of Kerala organised a demonstration to raise awareness about climate change and global warming, in Thrissur. Young climate activist Ridhima Pandey spoke at the event.
  • This event highlighted the growing trend of smaller cities in India also seeing a strong student movement demanding action on climate change.
  • The students from Kerala were spurred into action by the memories of the 2018 and 2019 floods.

On a warm January afternoon, as the world stepped into a new decade, several hundred students in Kerala took a pledge to protect the environment.

“For the sake of the future of children of this earth, generations that are yet to come, and for the existence of life on this planet, we pledge to stand for conserving the environment,” they read out in unison, from a note distributed to them by the organisers of Climate Circle event held in Kerala’s cultural capital Thrissur on January 1.

The event was part of efforts by Students for Climate Resilience and South Asian People’s Action on Climate Crisis (SAPACC) to raise awareness on climate change and global warming among the students across Kerala.

Ridhima Pandey, India’s young climate activist from Uttarakhand attended the event and encouraged the students to take up the cause of protecting the environment. When the 12-year-old began her address by speaking about the Uttarakhand floods of 2013 that killed several hundreds, the anecdote heavily resonated with the students of Kerala. To an attentive audience packed with school and college students, Ridhima spoke about how, at the age of 6, she questioned and educated herself about global warming, climate change and realised that individuals can bring about change.

Ridhima Pandey speaks at the Thrissur meeting. 

https://india.mongabay.com/2020/01/memories-of-recent-kerala-floods-push...

jerrym

Greta Thunberg and 21 other youth are attending the Davos summit that starts on January 20th to demand that the world shift away from fossil fuels. 

Greta Thunberg and fellow youth climate campaigners are demanding that global leaders immediately end the “madness” of huge ongoing investments in fossil fuel exploration and enormous subsidies for coal, oil and gas use.

The 21 young activists are also calling on the political and business leaders who will be attending the World Economic Forum in Davos to ensure investment funds dump their holdings in fossil fuel companies. ...

“Anything less would be a betrayal against life itself,” said Thunberg and colleagues in an article in the Guardian. “Today’s business as usual is turning into a crime against humanity. We demand that you play your part in putting an end to this madness.” ...

“Young people are being let down by older generations and those in power,” the climate strikers said. “To some it may seem like we are asking for a lot. But this is just the very minimum effort needed to start the rapid sustainable transition.”

Much of the world’s existing coal, oil and gas reserves must be kept in the ground to avoid the worst impacts of global heating. But investment in fossil fuel exploration and extraction remains high.

Since the Paris climate agreement in 2015, the world’s largest investment banks have provided more than $700bn (£535bn) to fossil fuel companies to develop new projects, with the total investment estimated to be trillions of dollars. Fossil fuel companies argue that their products will be used for many years to come and that they have a pivotal role in shifting the energy system to zero emissions. But their investments in green energy are tiny compared with those in fossil fuels.

Subsidies for fossil fuels also remain high despite a G20 pledge in 2009 to eliminate them. The IMF estimates such subsidies run at $10m a minute, or $5.2tn a year. “The fact that [ending investment and subsidies] hasn’t been done already is, quite frankly, a disgrace,” said Thunberg and colleagues.

Just 10% of fossil fuel subsidy cash 'could pay for green transition'

Investors managing funds totalling $12 trillion have already divested from coal, oil and gas, but the climate activists demand that “all companies, banks, institutions and governments immediately and completely divest from fossil fuels”.

Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, said in December that the financial sector was not cutting investments in oil and gas companies rapidly enough and warned that assets in the sector could end up “worthless”. He said in October that companies and industries not moving towards zero-carbon emissions would be punished by investors and go bankrupt.

“It ought to be in every company and stakeholder’s interest to make sure that the planet they live on will thrive,” said the climate strikers, who come from nations across the world, including the US, Australia, Brazil, Russia, India and Nigeria. “But history has not shown the corporate world’s willingness to hold themselves accountable. So it falls on us, the children, to do that.”

The agenda for the 50th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, which begins on 20 January in Switzerland, lists four “urgent and important” global issues. The first is “how to address the urgent climate and environmental challenges that are harming our ecology and economy”.

The climate strikers said: “The world’s leaders should invest their money in existing sustainable technologies, research and in restoring nature. Short-term profit should not trump long-term stability of life.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jan/10/greta-thunberg-tells...

 

jerrym

One of the youth attending the Davos conference is Canadian First Nation activist Autumn Peltier, who is profiled below along with some of the other young activists in the following article. 

  • Greta Thunberg is part of a young generation fighting to change the world.
  • For the first time ever, a group of teenage change-makers will take part in Davos.
  • From fighting gun violence to climate change, their voices must be heard.

From tackling the climate crisis to fighting discrimination, young people worldwide are taking their futures into their own hands.

The planet's future is their future, so it's more important than ever to give them a platform for their voices to be heard.

Davos teenage change-makers

Facing the future: young change-makers at Davos

For the first time in its history, the World Economic Forum will welcome teenage change-makers to the Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters to boost collaboration between the generations. Here are 10 of them...

Autumn Peltier, 15

Autumn Peltier

Canadian Autumn is an Eagle Clan Anishinaabekwe from the Wiikwemkoong First Nation in Northern Ontario. She has been a “water warrior” since the age of 8, ever since she learned of First Nation communities that couldn’t drink their water due to contamination from industrial activity and oil pipelines. In 2019, Autumn was named the Chief Water Commissioner by the Anishinabek Nation, representing 40 First Nations in Ontario, many of whom lack clean drinking water. In her role, she visits reserves, meets with leaders of the Anishinabek Nation and speaks internationally about indigenous and water rights.

Watch Autumn in action via the links below:

Forging a Path Toward a Common Future on Tuesday 21 Jan 2020, 8:30 – 9:15 AM (CET)

The Power of Youth on Wednesday 22 Jan 2020, 12:30 – 2:00 PM (CET) 

How to Turn Protest into Progress on Thursday 23 Jan 2020, 2:30 – 3:15 PM (CET)

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/01/the-teenage-change-makers-at-davo...

jerrym

At the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland, young climate activists, including Canadian Autumn Peltier of the Anishinabek Nation, Greta Thunberg, Natasha Wang Mwansa from Zambia, and Salvador Gómez-Colón of Puerto Rico, criticized the economic and political elites for failing for their inaction on global warming. 

Michelle Lewis

- Jan. 11th 2020 9:00 am ET

Young climate activists including Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg told business and political elites gathered Tuesday at the World Economic Forum that they aren't doing enough to tackle the climate emergency and warned them that time was running out.

At a panel in the Swiss ski resort of Davos, climate campaigners expressed hope that their generation could work with those in power to bring about the change needed to limit global warming even as Thunberg - a vocal critic of leaders' inaction - said not enough has been done.

“We need to start listening to the science, and treat this crisis with the importance it deserves," said the 17-year-old, just as U.S. President Donald Trump was arriving in Davos, where he later gave a speech. Trump has pulled the U.S. out of the Paris accord to limit climate change and has traded barbs with Thunberg on social media.

"Without treating it as a real crisis we cannot solve it,” Thunberg said , adding that it was time to stop burning fossil fuels immediately, not decades from now. ...

Speaking in the afternoon, Thunberg brushed aside Trump's announcement that the U.S. would join the economic forum's initiative to plant 1 trillion trees across the globe to help capture carbon dioxide from Earth’s atmosphere.

“Planting trees is good of course but it’s nowhere near enough," Thunberg said. "It cannot replace mitigation," she added, referring to efforts to drastically cut emissions in the near term.

Thunberg accused leaders of "cheating and fiddling around with numbers" with talk of cutting emissions to 'net zero' - that is, emitting no more carbon than is absorbed by the planet or technical means - by 2050. ...

"My generation will not give up without a fight," she said.

Her views were echoed by other climate activists, such Natasha Wang Mwansa, an 18-year-old activist from Zambia who campaigns for girls’ and women’s rights. She told an audience in Davos that “the older generation has a lot of experience, but we have ideas, we have energy, and we have solutions."

Salvador Gómez-Colón, who raised funds and awareness after Hurricane María devastated his native Puerto Rico in 2017, said young activists are doing more than just talking.

“We’re not waiting five, 10, 20 years to take the action we want to see. We’re not the future of the world, we’re the present, we’re acting now. We’re not waiting any longer.”

Autumn Peltier, the chief water commissioner for the Anishinabek Nation of indigenous people in Canada, said plaudits are not what they are looking for at the World Economic Forum.

“I don’t want your awards. If you are going to award me, award me with helping to find solutions and helping to make change.”

Thunberg cited a report released in 2018 by the U.N.'s science panel that calculated the amount of additional carbon dioxide the atmosphere can absorb before global average temperature increases exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit). Leaders agreed to try to stay below that threshold when they signed the 2015 Paris climate accord, but scientists warn the chances of doing so are dwindling.

Thunberg noted that the remaining carbon “budget” to confidently meet that target stood at just 420 gigatons of CO2 two years ago, the equivalent of 10 years of global emissions. Even with a more optimistic calculation, keeping the global temperature rise below 1.5 C would require a massive reduction in emissions over the next two decades.

"These numbers aren't anyone's political opinions or political views," said Thunberg. "This is the current best-available science."

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2020/01/21/news/thunberg-slams-davos-el...

jerrym

On January 13th 2020, twelve young activists who were arrested in Switzerland for protesting inside a Credit Suisse bank in November 2018 have won a court case after being arrested and fined $21,600 Swiss francs ($22,200 US) in which the judge ruled that it was a necessary and proportional action in view of the great risk posed by global warming. 

From 2016-2018 Credit Suisse invested $57 billion in the fossil fuel industry. (https://www.ran.org/bankingonclimatechange2019/)

A child carries a sign reading "PROTECT OUR WORLD" during a protest

A child holds a protest sign in Lausanne Switzerland during the climate change protest on January 17th following the climate change victory in court on January 13th

The imminent danger posed by climate change means activists were not guilty of trespassing when they occupied a Swiss bank and played tennis to demand an end to funding of fossil fuel projects, a judge ruled on Monday. 

Wearing whites and wigs, a group of young people staged the tennis sit-in at the Lausanne branch of Credit Suisse in November 2018 to highlight their campaign and urge Swiss maestro Roger Federer to end his sponsorship deal with the bank. 

The activists were charged with trespassing and fined 21,600 Swiss francs ($22,200), but in their appeal hearing on Monday Judge Philippe Colelough said they had acted proportionately and waived the fine.

The activists had argued they were in the bank in the face of an “imminent danger” - and the judge agreed. 

“Because of the insufficient measures taken to date in Switzerland, whether they be economic or political, the average warming will not diminish nor even stabilize, it will increase,” he said, pointing to the country’s melting glaciers. 

“In view of this, the tribunal considers that the imminence of danger is established,” the judge said. “The act for which they were incriminated was a necessary and proportional means to achieve the goal they sought.” 

The packed court room in Renens, Lausanne, reacted with whoops of excitement and a standing ovation. 

“I didn’t think it was possible,” said one of the accused, Beate Thalmann, in tears of joy. “If Switzerland did this, then maybe we have a chance.” 

Pressure is rising on Switzerland’s financial sector to divest from fossil fuels and thousands of students have marched through Swiss cities in recent months demanding action on climate change. 

The country, which is warming at twice the global average due to the heat-trapping effect of its mountains, has an target to cut net carbon emissions to zero by 2050 but activists say that the country’s biggest impact is via the financial center. 

Credit Suisse, which had filed charges against the activists, said last week, when they launched the appeal after refusing to pay the fine, it respected their cause but deemed their actions unacceptable. The state will pay the fine instead. 

The bank said in December said it would stop financing the development of new coal-fired power plants.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-climate-change-trial/climate-change-p...

 

jerrym

In response to the Lausanne trial victory for protesters that had occupied a Credit Suisse bank (see previous post for more details) and demanded it stop funding fossil fuel projects, Greta Thunberg addressed a protest in Lausanne on January 17th 2020, four days after the trial. The January 17th protest drew more than 10,000 demonstraters, according to the police, and occurred just before the World Economic Forum in Davos.

School strike week 74. Lausanne!

Voir l'image sur Twitter

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (Reuters) - Swedish activist Greta Thunberg marched with 10,000 protesters in the Swiss city of Lausanne on Friday and said "you have not seen anything yet" before some head to Davos next week to challenge the global financial elite to fight climate change.

The 17-year-old, who launched the #FridaysforFuture movement that has sparked worldwide protests, denounced a lack of government action to cut heat-trapping emissions before it is too late.

"So, we are now in a new year and we have entered a new decade and so far, during this decade, we have seen no sign whatsoever that real climate action is coming and that has to change,” Thunberg said in a speech in Lausanne.

“To the world leaders and those in power, I would like to say that you have not seen anything yet. You have not seen the last of us, we can assure you that. And that is the message that we will bring to the World Economic Forum in Davos next week.”

Protesters held signs including "Wake up and Smell the Bushfires" and "It is late but it is not too late".

Hundreds will take trains over the weekend and then march to Klosters near Davos, the annual gathering of world political and business leaders that Thunberg is attending for the second year in a row and will take part in two panel events.

Climate change and environmental destruction top the risks highlighted by global decision-makers in a survey ahead of the 2020 gathering of the global elite.

This year's meeting of 3,000 includes U.S. President Donald Trump who once described climate change as a "hoax" and whose administration in November filed paperwork to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement, the first formal step in a one-year process to exit the pact to fight climate change.

The latest World Economic Forum annual meeting takes place against the backdrop of some of Australia's worst ever bushfires. While the government there has avoided making a link to climate change, the fires have deepened public concern about the heating of the planet.

Last year was the Earth's second-hottest since records began, and the world should brace itself for more extreme weather events like Australia's fires, the U.N. World Meteorological Organization said on Wednesday.

“We are...an alliance that is organizing next week in 20 countries to say 'time is up' to the World Economic Forum in Davos. Time is up," a Kenyan activist, Njoki Njoroge Njehu, told the crowd in Lausanne.

https://www.thestar.com.my/news/world/2020/01/17/039you-have-not-seen-an...

 

jerrym

 Hamburg Germany was the largest Fridays for Future strike for climate change action this week with 60,000 attending but there were many other around the world as can be seen in the other pictures from the following article. merican youth climate change activists say its time for US youth to also do this on a regular basis. The same can be said for Canada.  

Participants of a Fridays for Future climate demonstration parade through Hamburg, Germany on Feb. 21, 2020.

Participants of a Fridays for Future climate demonstration parade through Hamburg, Germany on Feb. 21, 2020. Two days before the state elections in Hamburg on 23 February, thousands took to the streets for a different climate policy. (Photo: Axel Heimken/picture alliance via Getty Images)

U.S.-based youth climate activists on Friday drew attention to the climate protest in Hamburg, Germany, where organizers said roughly 60,000 people took part, and hoped that Americans took inspiration from their European counterparts.

Among those taking part in the large Fridays for Future action in the northern German city was school strike for climate founder Greta Thunberg of Sweden.

Fridays for Future organizer Alexandria Villaseñor of New York City shared Thunberg's tweet showing the massive crowd and asked, "Where are you USA?"

"The United States needs these types of numbers on a regular basis," said Jerome Foster II, a high school senior and Fridays for Future organizer in Washington, D.C.

"What is it going to take for the U.S. to rise up like this?" wondered the Durham, N.C. branch of Extinction Rebellion. "We are in a climate catastrophe and people around the world, particularly in the global south are facing the brunt NOW!  January 2020 was the warmest since we've recorded temperatures."

Thunberg, who's in her 79th week of Fridays for Future actions, noted in her remarks to the Hamburg crowd that the weekly actions have spread globally.

"For almost one and half years young people have been striking from school all over the world," she said.

"The world is failing on ensuring us a future. And I honestly don't understand how the people in power can continue like now. How they can look their children in the eyes while they are stealing their future?" she asked.

"We are facing an existential crisis," said Thunberg, "but we must keep on pushing."

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/02/21/60000-strong-fridays-future...

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Did We Just Witness the First Union-Authorized Climate Strike in the United States?

On Thursday February 27 thousands of Minneapolis cleaning workers walked off their jobs and struck their downtown commercial high-rises. Among their key demands was that their employers take action on climate change. It was one of the first—as far as I have been able to discover, the very first—union sanctioned strike in the U.S. for climate protection demands.

The janitors are members of Service Employees International Union Local 26. They are employed by over a dozen different subcontractors like ABM & Marsden to clean corporate buildings like IDS, Capella Tower, EcoLab, U.S Bank, Wells Fargo, United Health Group, Ameriprise and many more across the Twin Cities.[1] The workers are overwhelmingly immigrants and people of color. One observer described the meeting authorizing the strike as “a rainbow coalition of immigrants from all over the world and people from every race and religion in the state.” The union provided simultaneous interpretation into Spanish, Somali, Vietnamese, Amharic, and Nepalese.[2]....

jerrym

Because of the coronavirus, Greta Thunberg is asking climate activists to move online. 

Greta Thunberg is calling on other young climate activists to avoid big protests and move their demonstrations online amid efforts to contain the novel coronavirus. Over the past year and a half, Thunberg has incited thousands of students across the globe to protest inaction on climate change. She’s inspired many to join massive demonstrations like those outside United Nations climate conferences in New York and Madrid last year. Now, she’s asking people to stay home. ...

On Twitter, Thunberg asked people to join a digital strike by posting a photo of themselves along with the hashtag #ClimateStrikeOnline. Just as she does when it comes to climate change, Thunberg urged people to “unite behind experts and science” to address the current public health crisis posed by the novel coronavirus. 

“We’ll have to find new ways to create public awareness & advocate for change that don’t involve too big crowds,” Thunberg tweeted. “Listen to local authorities.”

Major environmental actions have been planned for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day this April, but COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, has jeopardized events planned throughout the year. United Nations talks on climate change in Bonn, Germany, and festivals like Coachella and South by Southwest are just a few of the many events that have been postponed or canceled as part of attempts to stop the virus from spreading.

https://www.theverge.com/2020/3/11/21174674/greta-thunberg-coronavirus-c...

Aristotleded24

jerrym wrote:
Because of the coronavirus, Greta Thunberg is asking climate activists to move online. 

Greta Thunberg is calling on other young climate activists to avoid big protests and move their demonstrations online amid efforts to contain the novel coronavirus. Over the past year and a half, Thunberg has incited thousands of students across the globe to protest inaction on climate change. She’s inspired many to join massive demonstrations like those outside United Nations climate conferences in New York and Madrid last year. Now, she’s asking people to stay home. ...

On Twitter, Thunberg asked people to join a digital strike by posting a photo of themselves along with the hashtag #ClimateStrikeOnline. Just as she does when it comes to climate change, Thunberg urged people to “unite behind experts and science” to address the current public health crisis posed by the novel coronavirus. 

“We’ll have to find new ways to create public awareness & advocate for change that don’t involve too big crowds,” Thunberg tweeted. “Listen to local authorities.”

Major environmental actions have been planned for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day this April, but COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, has jeopardized events planned throughout the year. United Nations talks on climate change in Bonn, Germany, and festivals like Coachella and South by Southwest are just a few of the many events that have been postponed or canceled as part of attempts to stop the virus from spreading.

https://www.theverge.com/2020/3/11/21174674/greta-thunberg-coronavirus-c...

And that's exactly where the fossil fuel companies want us, wasting time and energy ferociously blogging away on the Internet until Big Tech ditches Network Neutrality protections and outright censors that kind of conversation.

Think about what happened last year. Masses of people took to the streets worldwide to demand action for climate change and for an economic system that benefits the middle class. Now governments are using the coronavirus pandemic to try and scare people into staying out of the streets for long periods of time. Do you think that's a coincidence? People have been railing online for decades about our failure to tackle climate change, but governments didn't take notice until people took to the streets. Likewise, people have been railing online for decades about the plight of First Nations peoples in Canada, but only when people took to the streets did the government start seriously negotiating with them. The only thing that has worked in history is masses of people in the streets, and there is a reason governments want that to stop.

By all means, let's take the measures we need to minimize the impact of this pandemic. But we should also recognize that governments use crises like this to their advantage, and we need to watch for them doing that in this case.

jerrym

Because of the COVID19 pandemic the United Kingdom Student Climate Network (UK SCN) put out the following advisory on how to do climate change protests: 

Summary

  • It is the decision of local groups whether to go ahead with a strike, change their plans or cancel the strike completely
  • If you are going ahead we encourage you to:
    • Take into account the World Health Organisation (WHO) advice, local authority advice, measures being taken by local schools and number of cases in your area when deciding
    • Consider likely lower turnout and that the strike will be exclusionary to people with pre-existing medical conditions – is it worth it?
    • Consider the possible press response and negative consequences of this
    • How will you ensure that you are looking after the welfare of people attending your strike?
  • Instead of a regular strike, here are some alternative ideas you may want to try instead:
    • #ClimateStrikeOnline: strikers post a photo of themselves with their protest signs on social media along with the campaign hashtag. This could be accompanied by a Twitter storm.
    • Phone banking: People call a government agency/public official to demand climate action, to make it clear that just because we’re not on the street, it doesn’t mean our mobilisation has stopped. 
    • Other actions: There are lots of other possible physical actions that do not use a large number of people – so get creative! Maybe try creating an art piece instead?

https://ukscn.org/corona-virus-update/

jerrym

In less than two years Greta Thunberg and the student-led strikes for climate change have accomplished a lot but now face new challenges in the age of COVID-19. The following articles discusses those successes and the challenges ahead as the Global Climate Strike scheduled for April 24th has been called off.  

Participants of a Fridays for Future climate demonstration parade through Hamburg, Germany on Feb. 21, 2020.

For more than a year, just about every Friday at noon, Invaliden Park in downtown Berlin was transformed into a vivacious, noisy, swarming hubbub with teenage speakers, bands, and live dance acts — as well as Germany’s top climate scientists — all sharing a makeshift stage and a microphone. ...

The happening was the weekly “school strike” in Berlin of Fridays for Future (FFF), the climate crisis movement that began in 2018 with the Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg skipping school once a week to protest her country’s half-hearted response to climate change. The movement then ricocheted across the globe, mobilizing school-age young people — in wealthy countries as well as poor — as never before. Last year, the campaign culminated in international demonstrations of millions in cities and towns from Cape Town, South Africa to Anchorage, Alaska, all with the same goal: to force their nations to cut greenhouse gas emissions and become carbon-neutral by 2050. ...

Fridays for Future can claim some significant achievements, including strongly moving public opinion in favor of climate action and helping Green parties in Europe make major gains in elections. Still, even before the coronavirus outbreak and the banning worldwide of gatherings and demonstrations, the momentum of Fridays for Future had slowed. Fewer young people were attending the weekly protests, and the movement was recalibrating its strategy and tactics, shifting to stepped-up election activities and direct-action campaigns against fossil fuel interests, with mixed success.

Now, the worsening coronavirus pandemic is forcing Thunberg and other leaders of FFF to further alter tactics. Fridays for Future in Germany and other countries has suspended all public demonstrations — until now the movement’s mainspring and source of its high-profile media image, as well as donations. “In a crisis we change our behavior,” Thunberg tweeted earlier this month, “and adapt to the new circumstances for the greater good of society.” The Global Climate Strike, an international demonstration scheduled for April 24, has been called off. ...

Thunberg’s tweets don’t hint at it, but the virus and the public lockdowns have thrown the movement — already struggling to build on its spectacular protests of 2019 — into confusion. How can it pressure governments or businesses when gatherings are banned? How can the movement attract media coverage in the midst of a global pandemic? Will ordinary people faced with children at home or sick relatives or no jobs care about the climate when the COVID-19 crisis has turned their lives upside down? And will countries now sideline climate protection in order to put all of their energy and money into fighting the pandemic? 

“Last year climate change was topic No. 1,” says Volker Quaschning, a professor of renewable energy systems at the University of Applied Sciences in Berlin, and one of the German scientists who had lobbied officials to take decisive steps to curb climate change. “Today it’s corona.” ...

Luisa Neubauer, the 23-year-old face of FFF in Germany, was a constant presence on talk and news shows during the height of the protests in 2019. Neubauer, who is often referred to as “Germany’s Greta,” told Yale e360 that the movement is in transition, adding“We’re trying to figure things out now. Beating the coronavirus is the first thing we have to do, but the fight to save the climate can’t stop. It will continue in other ways and when this crisis is over the climate crisis will look different. We may even have a better chance. We know that political will, when it is there, can move mountains. We are experiencing this right now in the corona crisis.”

As for Thunberg’s call for digital activism, Neubauer admits that it can’t replace what FFF had accomplished on the streets. “But our generation and the climate movement are already digital,” she says, “and there are things we can do.” Already, the German branches of FFF have an internet learning program on YouTube for the millions of children not attending school.

FFF has unquestionably enjoyed major successes over the past year-and-a-half. The protests struck a chord with people who until then hadn’t taken climate change seriously enough to have it impact their vote or lifestyle. The movement was strongest in Europe, but even in the United States the protests caught on and helped propel the Green New Deal, a proposal for tackling the climate crisis in the U.S., high on the agenda of Democratic presidential candidates. Last September, 250,000 people across the U.S. marched in the FFF’s Global Climate Strike — the largest number ever to turn out for a U.S. climate protest. ...

Outside of the U.S., the numbers of those prioritizing global warming shot up dramatically in the wake of the FFF demonstrations, opinion polls and elections showed. Before the coronavirus, people in Europe and in China identified climate change as the foremost challenge. And many European Green parties, which had campaigned for rigorous climate policies for years, have doubled their vote tallies in local, national, and European Union elections — a result also of the extreme weather in 2018 and 2019 that brought record droughts, heat, and floods.

The FFF demonstrations “changed the whole landscape of the climate movement and the way ordinary people think about the climate crisis,” says Insa Vries of the German anti-coal group Ende Gelände, which had been occupying coal production facilities since 2015. “They were able to get through to much larger swaths of the population than we ever could, including unions, established NGOs, older people, and the world of pop culture.” ...

Despite these achievements, the outbreak of the coronavirus has found Fridays for Future in a period of soul searching and experimentation. The group’s leaders were growing disappointed with FFF’s concrete results, most notably that the protests had not prodded governments to respond with the resolute, far-reaching measures that would enable them to meet the goals of the 2015 UN Paris Agreement, which would hold global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius below pre-industrial levels.

A seminal moment for the German FFF movement came on September 20, 2019, when in the largest climate demonstration of the year, tens of thousands of protestors clogged Berlin’s city center, and more than a million more took to the streets in 500 other German cities and towns. As the Berlin demonstration unfolded, just a stone’s throw away at the offices of German Chancellor Angela Merkel the government announced its long-awaited climate policies package. But the proposals fell far short of the students’ demands, which were that Germany set policies that would end coal use by 2030 and generate 100 percent of the country’s electricity with renewable energy by 2035. The activists had also demanded a tax as high as 180 euros-per-ton of CO2.

“It was bizarre, scandalous, how bad it was,” says Neubauer about the German climate protection package, which proposed a mere 10 euros-a-ton tax on CO2. “Despite all of the demonstrations and lobbying, what came out wasn’t even an attempt to meet the Paris Agreement. ...

The Germans weren’t the only climate activists rethinking things in the face of tepid government action. “We concluded that school strikes alone aren’t going to make governments change anything,” explains Vipulan Puvaneswaran of France’s Youth for Climate, the French ally of Fridays for Future. “We need a more radical change — the system has to change — and for that we need more radical protest forms.” In February, the group briefly occupied the Paris offices of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, covering its walls with graffiti.

The Germans, too, shifted course, moving away from school strikes to the targeting of businesses and intervening in election campaigns. “Businesses are more flexible, they can change faster than states,” says Neubauer. “They have to step up and help us make governments change.” ...

FFF Germany set its sights on the multinational giant Siemens, which had recently invested in a new Australian coal mine — a small investment for Siemens, but a tempting target for the climate activists. ... 

Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser, who met one-on-one with Neubauer. Media coverage was intensive for a week, but in the end Siemens opted to proceed with the project.

“FFF has managed to mobilize enormous numbers of people and create a big buzz,” says Vries of Ende Gelände, “but we come out in the end empty-handed. Maybe we have to rethink how we pick our fights.” ...

FFF has enjoyed more success in targeting elections, which has greatly benefitted Europe’s Green parties. “Green parties across Northern Europe have been given an unbelievable push,” says Ellen Ueberschär of the Heinrich Böll Stiftung, a German foundation close to the Green Party. In polls, Germany’s Greens have tripled their tally since the 2017 general election, turning the Greens into the country’s second-largest party.

Now, however, FFF’s path forward is unclear. If the movement is denied street demonstrations for months, it may find its resources drying up and activists demoralized. “I’m worried that their anger and frustration, which had generated so much positive energy, will turn into hopelessness,” says Ueberschär. “At best, what can happen,” says Neubauer, “is that we turn the crisis experience into a crisis management experience. Because we are now tackling [the coronavirus] collectively, in solidarity and sustainably, we can learn how to cope with others. This can be helpful for the climate crisis.”

https://grist.org/climate/shifting-gears-the-climate-protest-movement-in...

 

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