After four million people marched for the Global Climate Strikes on Friday, people condemned world leaders gathered at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York today – and those who refused to show up. People are calling out their failure to act at the scale of the climate emergency – and vowing to keep up pressure in the coming days, weeks and months.
“World leaders say they know our house is on fire, but they are adding more fuel to the flames,” – May Boeve, 350.org Executive Director.
In her impassioned speech to the summit today, Greta Thunberg told politicians that they were failing the youth and that they would not let them get away with it. She told world leaders that change was coming whether they liked it or not and to unite behind the science to keep global warming below 1.5°.
Despite the disappointing lack of concrete commitments expected at the summit, and huge obstacles coming from the likes of Trump, Bolsonaro, and Putin, the last few months have seen a tectonic shift in climate politics.
History will judge this #ClimateActionSummit by whether countries submit plans next year to increase their Paris targets & to reach net zero by 2050. The Marshall Islands has done so but not enough have followed our lead. That is why my atoll nation will declare a climate crisis. pic.twitter.com/BWHUHVG1Dr
— Dr. Hilda C. Heine (@President_Heine) September 23, 2019
“The climate strikes are having an impact,” said Boeve. “Momentum is on our side and what we’re seeing today is politicians stumbling over themselves to catch up. But the young people leading this movement don’t want praise or pats on the head, they want real, concrete action to leave fossil fuels in the ground and reduce emissions. They’re not going to let up and neither are we: the dirty fossil fuel party is over.”
This morning, hundreds of people shut down parts of Washington, D.C. to demand action to address the climate emergency. Meanwhile, in New York City, 350.org and their allies unfurled a giant banner reading “ExxonKnew: Make Them Pay” outside an Oil and Gas summit taking place nearby the UN. Other escalated actions will be taking place across the United States and Europe this week. Hundreds of thousands more people are expected to join climate strikes in Canada, The Netherlands, Spain, Italy, New Zealand, Morocco and other countries on Friday, September 27.