On September 20th more than 4 million people around the world took to the streets to join the global climate strike movement. People of all ages from across the globe came together to share a message: The planet is in a climate emergency, and we will not sit by and do nothing. A recap of many of these strikes was put together by the Earth Day Network: “Change is coming, whether they like it or not:” Youth climate strikes break records worldwide
On Saturday September 21st, the United Nations hosted its first-ever Youth Climate Summit in New York City bringing together hundreds of youth climate leaders from around the world to discuss climate solutions for the future. The Earth Day Network prepared a summary of this event and included several notable quotes. “Change rarely happens from the top down,” climate activist Bruno Rodriguez said at the summit. “It happens when millions of people demand change.” Youth student climate leader Greta Thunberg from Sweden said, “Together and united, we are unstoppable. This is what people power looks like. We will rise to the challenge.”
The Summit was part of a weekend of events leading up to the U.N. Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit on Monday September 23rd. The summit was a call to action in the face of the worsening climate crisis. On its website, the UN defined climate change as the “defining issue of our time and now is the defining moment to do something about it.”
Leaders from 65 counties attended the summit and more than 100 business leaders were there. The UN prepared a summary of the commitments and actions taken by the attendees. In closing the meeting, UN Secretary-General António Guterres, said “You have delivered a boost in momentum, cooperation and ambition. But we have a long way to go.”
Youth leaders urged action not more promises.
Perhaps the most powerful statement at the summit was delivered by youth activist Greta Thunberg.
“The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, we will never forgive you. We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now, is where we draw the line.”
Listen to Greta’s full statement here.