Global Climate Strike: What to Know and How to Get Involved

Young Swedish activist Greta Thunberg made headlines yet again earlier this month as she made plans to sail the Atlantic on a zero-emissions yacht in order to speak at the United Nations’ Climate Summit in New York City.

This is just one in a series of protests supported by Thunberg and young climate activists around the world. A worldwide protest, Fridays for Future, was inspired by Thunberg’s personal climate protests outside the Swedish parliament building in 2018. Since then, millions of students have protested for climate reform and Fridays for Future has become a weekly walk-out for many.

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To keep the momentum going, Global Week for Future has been scheduled for Sept. 20–27 and is expected to be a grand affair, with millions of activists protesting in more than 100 countries—and the students who started the campaign are calling on adults to join them. Whether you decide to paint a sign and head to your local rally or not, here is everything you need to know about the upcoming Global Climate Strike, which is scheduled for Global Week for Future.

The W’s

  • We will start with when. While Global Week for Future is a week-long event, many cities have organized their big protests on Sept. 20 to kick off the week.
  • Who is involved? Anyone who wants to be! Climate activists encourage everyone and anyone to walk out of their school, place of work or home (or any other location they happen to be in) and join the peaceful protests in their area.
  • Where is this happening? There are strikes in cities all around the world and you can look up where your local event is here. Don’t see an event near you? You can always register for a climate strike at the above link and go that extra mile for Mother Nature.
  • What should I expect? Individual strikes are organized by local activists and NGOs, so the exact format and layout will differ from place to place. However, 350.org, Global Climate Strike and Fridays for Future, which are all affiliated with the event, have made clear that they encourage and expect nothing but peaceful protests. Beyond that, expect signs, some fun chants, some great speakers, and maybe even music and food.
  • Last, but certainly not least, is the why. Many people agree that we need to address climate change, and lots of them (especially these young activists) think that governments are not doing enough in the fight against climate change. The “why” behind the strikes can be aptly summed up with a quote from the Global Climate Strike website: “Our house is on fire—let’s act like it.”

What You Can Do

If you want to join a strike, then just follow the link above to get all the info you need. If you aren’t keen on protests, it is still be good to be aware that your colleagues or employees might want to practice their right to protest on Sept. 20. Additionally, attendees may want to get involved, so ask ahead of time if anyone is planning to strike so you can be prepared.

If you are hosting an event during Global Week for Future, you might want to draw some climate activism into your event to demonstrate corporate social responsibility. A fun breakout could be a roundtable on “How to Make Greta Thunberg Proud” or host an information session on choosing an environmentally conscious businesses to partner with.

According to the CGS 2019 U.S. Consumer Sustainability Survey, 70 percent of consumers now express a preference for “conscious brands.” So, as sustainability awareness and climate activism continue to increase, it is important to stay ahead of the curve and recognize that customers and clients increasingly value social corporate responsibility.

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