COVID-19 Is Not Stopping The Fight Against Climate Change – The Organization for World Peace

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Last year, six million people around the world took part in strikes to demand action against the escalating global environmental crisis. This year, despite the constant barrage of urgent crises’ that seem to envelop the world, the fight against climate change did not stop. Instead, communities and youth activists adapted to the restrictions and advisories put in place by their governments. The strikes continued with social distancing and masks on the streets and in some cases, were completely online.

With no shortage of critical matters to deal with, it could be tempting to put off the fight for climate change for another day. But this mentality, to ignore a problem until it’s no longer ignorable, is what caused our current crisis to escalate to more than a million deaths, a global economic recession, and a deepening of geopolitical divisions. Thus, it is no time to stop.

Last Friday, there were 3388 strikes reported in at least 150 countries. Greta Thunberg led a strike in Sweden, which was limited to 50 people due to the restrictions in Sweden. In Australia, protesters gathered on the lawns of parliament buildings with posters and pleads for the government to stop the plans to build new gas power stations.  In India, young people took to the streets to demand inclusive and attainable environmental plans. At the core of the South African protests that occurred was the demand for a “just transition to a more socially owned, renewable energy future, providing clean, safe, and affordable energy for all, with no worker and community left behind.”

Due to COVID restrictions, digital discussions and online strikes were also held. There was a 24-hour Zoom call, which featured local groups around the world speaking about the issues and demands to combat climate change. In Bangladesh, young activists staged a 10-hour Online Climate Strike on Facebook, a first of its kind in the country.

The only way to contain climate change is through persistent action. The clock is ticking – literally – as an installation in New York City was placed in Union Square counting down the years, days, hours, minutes, and seconds left to curb greenhouse gas emissions so that the world can potentially remain under 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming. Limiting global warming is crucial to avoid catastrophic disasters like unmanageable wildfires and floods. We are already seeing the severity of wildfires in California, where thousands of residents are being evacuated as their homes burn. We are seeing what the future may look like – desolate, on fire, lined with dead trees and abandoned homes.

But this doesn’t have to be the way. The countdown to “Earth’s deadline” is not unstoppable. The fight for climate change continues – and will continue – in the face of extraordinary challenges led by young activists around the world to create a different future – one that is just and sustainable for generations to come.

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