Between September 20th and 27th, a total of 7.6 million people worldwide took to the streets to participate in a global climate strike. That figure comes from climate nonprofit 350.org. 4 million are said to have participated on September 20th alone.
The climate strikes were organized by youth activists and supported by organizations, like Fridays for Future, 350.org, and School Strike 4 Climate.
The school strike for the climate is an international movement that originated in Sweden of school-aged students who take time off of class in order to participate in demonstrations and demand that world leaders take tangible, meainingful action to mitigate the ongoing climate crisis.
“This week was a demonstration of the power of our movement.” Fridays for Future International said. “People power is more powerful than the people in power. It was the biggest ever climate mobilization, and it’s only the beginning. The momentum is on our side and we are not going anywhere.”
Particularly high turnout was reported in Italy, Spain, Canada, and New Zealand. In the case of New Zealand, 170,000 people, nearly 4% of the country’s total population, took to the streets. New Zealand’s climate strike is the largest strike since 1951.
“It is very moving to see everyone, everyone who is so passionate to march and strike,” Greta Thunberg told BBC News. “It is a very good day, I would say.”
In Canada, approximately 800,000 participated in climate strikes according to 350.org. On September 27th in Vancouver, members of the tentree team, wearing our Fresh Lungs, Trees Reforested bandanas, joined with 120,000 other climate strikers to show that big change starts small.
“The Climate Strike movement is an incredible example of how a small idea can turn into a global movement,” said tentree ceo Derrick Emsley. “Big change really does start small.”
Organizers of the climate strike say that this week’s demonstrations are only the beginning of a larger, sustained push for meaningful climate action.
“We told world leaders to act on the science, and we demanded a safe future for us and for everyone, but they didn’t’ listen,” said Greta Thunberg, a youth climate activist and climate strike organizer, at an Iowa climate event strike. “As we all know, the U.N. climate action summit was a failure. … But no matter what, we need to continue.
“No matter how hopeless the situation may seem like, we must always carry on. Must never allow ourselves to give up. That is simply not an option. We teenagers and children shouldn’t have to take the responsibility, but right now, the world leaders keep acting like children and somebody needs to be the adult.”