On 5 November 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland, people take part in a Fridays for Future demonstration for climate action, led by youth climate activists and organized on the sidelines of the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference (COP26). An estimated 25,000 protesters gathered to lend their voices to calls for stronger commitments by governments to take concrete and corrective action to avert catastrophic climate change. The demand is that world leaders do more than convene conferences – that they transition from talk to meaningful and effective mitigating measures such as moving away from fossil fuels and drastically reducing emissions of greenhouse gases.
In August of 2018, Swedish youth activist Greta Thunberg, then 15, started what became a movement – School Strike for Climate (“Skolstrejk för klimatet” in Swedish), also known as Fridays for Future (FFF), Youth for Climate, Climate Strike or Youth Strike for Climate – in her home country of Sweden, skipping school to stand outside of the Swedish parliament advocating for action on climate change. She was soon joined by activists from around the world; in addition to smaller activations, there have been nine global climate strikes since 2019, with tens of thousands of events attended by millions of participants. In 2019, 400 activists from 38 countries drafted the Declaration of Lausanne, outlining the following demands: 1. Keep the global temperature rise below 1.5 °C compared to pre-industrial levels. 2. Ensure climate justice and equity. 3. Listen to the best united science currently available. The climate crisis is a child rights crisis. No child is responsible for rising global temperatures. Yet, the climate crisis is threatening children’s health, education and protection. Almost every child on earth is exposed to at least one climate shock. Children will be living with the impacts of climate change and have the right to participate in decisions that affect their future. UNICEF calls on governments to