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Global climate strike: Everything you need to know about today’s protest

The Global Climate Strike is happening today, Friday 20 September, with thousands of people from 150 countries around the world protesting against global warming. Here’s everything you need to know.

Every Friday, teenagers around the world have been walking out of school to protest against climate change and the issue of global warming.

The international movement, known as School Strike for Climate or Fridays for Future, was founded by teen activist Greta Thunberg, with the aim of making world leaders finally wake up to the devastating impact we are having on the planet, and take charge in tackling climate change.

The 16-year-old activist, who recently inspired all our future travel plans by undertaking a zero-emissions sailing trip from Plymouth to New York, recently spoke about the urgent need for adults to take action against climate change in an interview with Trevor Noah.

“I think what we should do as individuals is to use the power of democracy to make our voices heard and to make sure that the people in power actually cannot continue to ignore this,” she told the host.

Now, Thunberg and teen activists are calling on us, the adults of the world, to walk out of work and join them on the world’s biggest global climate strike this Friday 20 September. With former chief scientist, Sir David King, calling the rate of climate change in the world “scary”, there really is no time to waste.

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If you’re interested in joining, you can find all you need to know below, followed by an open letter from 14-year-old teen activist, Holly Gillibrand.

What is the Global Climate Strike in September about?

The Global Climate Strike will see thousands of adult workers from 150 countries around the world walk out of work and take to the streets to join teen activists in protest. The strike is planned to protest against the use of fossil fuels.

As it says on the official strike page: “Our house is on fire — let’s act like it. We demand climate justice for everyone.”

When is the Global Climate Strike?

The Global Climate Strike is on Friday 20 September. 

What time is the Global Climate Strike?

The strike is taking place all day on Friday 20 September, and you can choose to join at any point. You can find out more information on the timings of your nearest strike by clicking here.

Where will the Global Climate Strike be taking place?

The Global Climate Strike will be taking place at various locations all around the world. You can find your nearest location by clicking here and using the interactive map.

teen climate change strike
Global climate strike: teen activists protest against fossil fuels in London earlier this year

Who can take part in the Global Climate Strike?

Everyone is welcome to take part in the Global Climate Strike - in fact, the more the merrier. The teen activists want as many adults as possible to join them in their protest, in order to make as much noise as possible about the growing dangers of climate change.

Where can I find out more information about the Global Climate Strike?

You can find out all the information you need about the Global Climate Strike on the strike’s official page, by clicking here. You can also visit the UK-specific site for the Global Climate Strike by clicking here.

Are you interested in joining the strike? Read on for an open letter from 14-year-old teen activist Holly Gillibrand.

To the adults of the world,

We are calling for a global strike on 20 September and we are asking for you to join us in protest.

We urgently need to raise as much awareness of the climate emergency as possible. This is a crisis that is affecting people living now, and it will affect my generation the most in future. If we don’t act now, then it will be too late.

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Our planet is currently warming faster than at any other point in its history, with the last four years being the hottest ever. In the last 50 years alone, winter temperatures in the Arctic have risen by 3-4°C, causing rising sea levels. Global emissions and the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are rising rapidly and show no signs of slowing down.

These factors are already having a devastating impact on the planet and its eco-structure, and they will continue to do so.

climate change strike fridays for future
Climate change strike 20 September: it's time for adults to step up and join the world's youths in protesting against climate change

So we need you to strike for as long as you can. You can find details of your nearest strike here, and if there isn’t one near you, then please organise one yourself. Create eye-catching banners, organise die-ins (a type of protest where you lie ‘dead’ on the floor) and help us to make as much noise as possible.

Many of you have been unable, or unwilling, to join us on our strikes so far. Perhaps this is because you still don’t understand the problems that we are fighting against, or you think that our protests are for young people and children only. But we need you to strike just as much as we need the youths of the world to strike.

I’ve been striking as a #FridaysforFuture activist every Friday since 11 January, and my first strike was scary because it was my first ever protest. I didn’t know what to expect, or how people would react to us. So I can understand if you have never been on a strike before and you’re feeling nervous about joining us. 

My advice would be to strike with as many people as possible, and remember what you are striking for. A moment of feeling nervous or embarrassed, is nothing compared to how my generation will suffer in the future if we don’t take a stand now.

greta thunberg fridays for future.
Climate change strike 20 September: Greta Thunberg protests at a Fridays for Future climate change strike in Rome, Italy

The strike on 20 September certainly won’t be our last, because we need to continue to put pressure on governments around the world. We need them to listen to us and to start taking action.

But this strike is crucial because the United Nation’s climate action summit is going to be held three days later, on 23 September. António Guterres, the secretary general of the UN, has called us inspirational, but the summit will prove whether he and the world’s leaders have actually been listening to us. We want to see a change being made.

As a child who has not yet had a proper education in climate change, it is not up to me to say specifically what changes the UN needs to take. But necessary and unprecedented action does need to be taken, and urgently. We want to see concrete steps being taken to reduce carbon emissions and limit global warming to 1.5°C.

climate change strike
Climate change strike 20 September: the strike will be a worldwide protest against climate change ahead of the UN summit on 23 September

The youths of the world have woken up to this crisis and we are deciding to take a stand. You should know that your actions now will dictate our entire lives.

So we need you to take a stand, too. Even if you can’t join this strike, join us on the next one, or the one after that.

I hope that we have woken you up to this crisis, and that you are prepared to join us to fight for a better world, and a better future.


Holly Gillibrand, 14, Scotland

Images: Getty