Climate Change

Fridays for Future: It isn’t too late, say young activists demanding climate reparations, justice

Demands for loss & damage finance raised across the world 6 weeks ahead of CoP27

By Preetha Banerjee
Published: Friday 23 September 2022

The world is hurtling towards the climate tipping points. And once again it was the young people, who stand to bear the most prolonged impact of climate change, issuing a clarion call for urgent climate action.

Thousands of young activists took to the streets across the world September 23, 2022, demanding stronger policies for loss and damage as well as climate reparation from governments in their countries. It is still not too late, they reminded the global leaders.

The global movement took place a day after 'Loss & Damage Action Day'. It is observed to hold major polluters of the world such as the G20 countries accountable for accelerating climate change, which disproportionately impacts smaller nations that contribute the least to the crisis.

The Global Climate Strikes were organised under the banner of Fridays for Future (FFF) campaign, a youth-led climate justice movement. It focuses on providing a platform for the most affected people and areas (MAPA) to voice their demands.

"Many question why millions of children and adults across the world are taking the time to strike: don’t they have school, work or other responsibilities?" read the website of FFF, highlighting the reason behind the regular protests by young citizens. It added:

The answer is simple: We strike because we have no choice. We are fighting for our future and for our children’s future. We strike because there is still time to change, but time is of the essence. The sooner we act, the better our shared future will be.

Marches were held in multiple cities in India, Kenya, Bangladesh, Japan, Indonesia, Turkey, Pakistan, Canada, United States, New Zealand, Italy, Scotland, Britain, Germany, Sweden, France, Ireland and other countries coordinated by FFF, which was inspired by the Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. 

This massive turnout came two years after the COVID-19 pandemic that, civil society groups feared, derailed efforts to push for climate justice and adaptation policies. It signalled hopes for  a revival and strengthening of global climate diplomacy, with little over a month left for the 27th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. 

The rallies also coincided with the 77th session of the UN General Assembly being held in New York. 

The global team of FFF members and volunteers used social media to inform and mobilise the youth in every corner of the world. There were tips for first-timers and diverse voices to encourage participation.

The demonstrators used creative slogans and chants to made their demands heard to policymakers. The overarching theme was to show solidarity for MAPA voice and urge governments and industries to put the lives of people before profits.

Various states of India, including Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat also saw students coming together to demand climate justice. 

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