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Fridays for Future : „We don’t want your hope. We want you to take action.“

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And the worst effects of climate change are disproportionately felt by our most vulnerable communities. This is not just about cutting down emissions, but about equity – the system we have right now is failing us, working only for the rich few. The luxury so few of us enjoy in the Global North is based on the suffering of people in the Global South. We have watched as politicians fumble, playing a political game rather than facing the facts that the solutions we need cannot be found within the current system. They don’t want to face the facts – we need to change the system if we are going to try and act on the climate crisis.

Wouldn't you go on strike too?

This movement had to happen, we didn’t have a choice. The vast majority of climate strikers taking action today aren’t allowed to vote. Imagine for a second what that feels like. Despite watching the climate crisis unfold, despite knowing the facts, we aren’t allowed to have a say in who makes the decisions about climate change. And then ask yourself this: wouldn’t you go on strike too, if you thought doing so could help protect would secure your own future?

So today we walk out of school, we quit our college lessons, and we take to the streets to say enough is enough. Some adults say we shouldn’t be walking out of classes – that we should be “getting an education”. We think organizing against an existential threat – and figuring out how to make our voices heard – is teaching us some important lessons. 

Students demand action against climate change at a Fridays for Future protest in Norway.
Students demand action against climate change at a Fridays for Future protest in Norway. : Bild: AP

Other adults keep saying: “We owe it to the young people to give them hope.“ But we don’t want your hope. We don’t want you to be hopeful. We want you to panic and we want you to take action. We want you to join us.

We have to act now

We’ve relied on adults to make the right decisions to ensure that there is a future for the next generation – surely we don’t have all the answers. But what we do know is that we need to keep fossil fuels in the ground, phase out subsidies for dirty energy production, seriously invest in renewables and start asking difficult questions about how we structure our economies and who is set to win and who is set to lose. 

And we are no longer alone. Tens of thousands of scientists from all around the world have released statements in support of the school strikes by children. The scientists have been very clear about what we need to do to tackle climate change. We are uniting behind the scientists. We are only asking that our leaders do the same.

It is so important that this happens now. The kind of changes that need to happen will take everyone recognising that this is a crisis and committing to radical transformations. We strongly believe that we can fight off the most damaging effects of climate change – but we have to act now.

We need the grownups to take responsibility

There is no grey area when it comes to survival. There’s no less bad option. That’s why today young people are striking in every corner of the globe, and it’s why we are asking that older people join us on the streets too. When our house is burning we cannot just leave it to the children to pour water on the flames – we need the grownups to take responsibility for sparking the blaze in the first place. So for once, we’re asking grown-ups to follow our lead: we can’t wait any longer. 

This movement had to happen. And now, you adults have a choice.

Greta Thunberg

Luisa Neubauer

Kyra Gantois

Anna Taylor

Anuna De Wever

Adélaïde Charlier

Holly Gillibrand

Alexandria Villasenor

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