Today, school children across South Africa will be joining their peers in over 150 countries around the world for the #GlobalStrike ahead of the UN Climate Summit in New York on Monday September 23. Brainchild of 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, the aim of the strike is for students and others from around the world to speak in one voice about the impending effects of climate change on the planet. Demonstrations will take different forms, but will aim to promote awareness of climate change and demand political action to curb contributing factors to climate change such as carbon emissions.
“We’d like to see President Ramaphosa taking a bold plan to New York, committing SA to reducing air pollution from burning coal and introducing mass electrified public transport” said Africa Climate Alliance (ACA) spokesperson Ayakha Melithafa, aged 16. “If the government got serious about slowing climate change, the necessary actions could also create many jobs, and reduce poverty and inequality. Sticking with coal is strangling our economy as well as choking us.”
Strikes around the country:
Capetonians joining strike began meeting at the greens on the corner of Cambridge and Keizergracht streets in Zonnebloem at 12 noon, and then plan to march to Parliament. At parliament the will hand over a list of demands including the ban of new coal-fired power stations and fossil fuel mining licences and committing to 100% renewable energy generation by 2030. Demonstrators in Plettenberg Bay plan to dance on the beach in a celebratory pledge to protect their natural heritage. Marches in Port Elizabeth and King William’s Town are already under way. Next week there will be a march to the Union buildings in Pretoria on September 27.
You can find a climate strike event near you on the global map.