Too young to vote, children strike, protest and sue for climate action

(Eco Business, 3 Dec 2018) Worried about their future, children around the globe are taking matters into their own hands to tackle climate change.

Skipping school, marching on the streets and suing governments, children who are too young to vote are demanding more action on climate change, as world leaders gather at a major UN summit in Poland this week.

“We will be the main victims of climate change. It will be our generation who suffer the consequences,” said Sydney student Aisheeya Huq, 16, who skipped school on Friday to protest, along with tens of thousands of children across Australia.

The nationwide strikes were inspired by 15-year-old Stockholm student Greta Thunberg, who misses school every Friday to demonstrate outside Sweden’s parliament. She plans to do so until the country reaches its ambitious goals to curb carbon emissions.

“It’s amazing that kids are protesting and they are making their voices heard. This is our last chance, we can’t mess this up,” Thunberg told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Youth-led climate organisations and actions are springing up around the globe. Their desire for change stems from personal experience of and worry about climate change, as well as a desire to hold their governments to account, their members say.

Half the world’s population is now under 30 years old, and are increasingly vocal on political and social issues, with climate change the biggest concern for youths from 180 countries, according to a 2017 World Economic Forum survey.

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Eco Business, 3 Dec 2018: Too young to vote, children strike, protest and sue for climate action