Tens of thousands of students worldwide skipped school and took to the streets in protest on March 15. They expressed anger and disappointment over what they see as adults’ failure to act on climate change.
Rallies were held in 125 countries, on six continents, with young people chanting, waving signs, and making their case. They demanded that world leaders do more to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions that are warming the planet.
“Borders, languages, and religions do not separate us,” 8-year-old Havana Chapman-Edwards told protesters in Washington, D.C. “Today, we are telling the truth, and we do not take no for an answer.”
Scientists say pollution must be reduced drastically in the next 10 years. Otherwise, it could reach dangerous levels by the time the protesters are in their 40s. This would lead to more-severe weather, widespread hunger, and social conflict.
In recent months, thousands of students have staged climate rallies in London, Berlin, and other European capitals. António Guterres is United Nations secretary-general. He has called a special summit on September 23 to deal with what he calls the “climate emergency.”
Alexandria Villaseñor, 13, co-organized the protest in New York City. Young people can’t wait until they are in positions of power to make change, she says. “By then, it will be too late for my generation. We don’t have any time to waste.”