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Global Strike for Climate. There is no Planet B

It all began the last 30th August 2018, when Greta Thunberg went on strike in front of the Sweden Parliament, but we cannot say that it’s over with the international march of Friday 15 March, 2019. 

 With her charisma, the young activist, who’s been up to Nobel Peace Prize, was be able to mobilize incredible masses of young people. In her opinion, her special approach to the climate issue was stimulated by Asperger syndrome that she’s experiencing, which made her more focused on this problem. Skipping school has a specific meaning for Greta: why educate ourselves if our future is at risk and if society and politicians don’t worry about the warning call of scientists?

The biggest student event in the social media era, under the name of “Friday For Future” (one of many Fridays that brought forward the global action of 15 March), “Schools Strike for Climate” or “Climate Strike” involved 1.4 million of people in more than 2000 cities, in more than 120 countries. To cries “We have run out of excuses and we are running out of time”, “There is no Planet B” and “The future is on our hands”, students took to the streets and turned to global leaders with clear requests: 

  • Apply the universal Paris Climate Agreement signed on 12 December 2015
  • Respect the IPCC guidelines
  • Take special measures to reduce CO2 emissions
  • Protect the environment threatened by global warming
  • Invest in clean, renewable energy
  • Safeguard our seas invaded by plastic and destroyed ecosystems 

The objectives of the Paris Agreement are considered unambitious and permissive, then insufficient to limit the rise in the average temperature to 1.5 °C. But the real problem is that these commitments aren’t complied with governments: so we already know what to do, but we don’t do enough. The appeal of Greta is an indictment of Heads of State of the Rich Countries and calls into question the issue of climate justice: how can we ask a commitment from the poor and developing countries for to the battle against climate change if we fail to strive as we ought? The climate justice is a serious problem to be submitted, if we are to prevent social conflicts from collapsing under the pressure of uncontrolled migration and inequalities. Indeed, we must not forget that the areas most threatened by global warming produce fewer emissions. 

Politics is accused of being short-sighted, unaware of the impact of actions today on future. Fridays for Future movement is expression of a real generational conflict and brings into play worldwide organizations like ONU and UNFCC, putting an essential condition: the necessity of a global response to climate changes.

This can be provided only by creating supranational, democratic institutions aimed at guaranteeing human wellbeing to replace the inaction of national governments and the ineffectiveness of ONU. A sort of Global Environmental Community with own resources in order to establish binding rules for States and invest in ecological transition and circular economy. The European Union is the global player most focused on the achievement of emissions reduction targets and therefore it would be the most inclined to drive this forward-looking process. 

Radical changes in world politics and in our daily routine in a very short time. In a word, choosing the action instead of hoping. This is the only true path open to save ourselves and the world that our sons and daughters will inhabit. This is the collective message of the Climate March and the lesson to be learned before it’s too late.

by Francesca Torre 

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