Environmental activists take part in a protest calling for the government to take immediate action against climate change in Cape Town, South Africa. File | Photo Credit: AP
Tens of thousands of climate activists around the world are set to march, chant and protest Friday to call for an end to the burning of planet-warming fossil fuels as the globe suffers dramatic weather extremes and record-breaking heat.
The strike — driven by several mostly youth-led, local and global climate groups and organizations, including Greta Thunberg’s Fridays for Future movement — will take place in dozens of countries and in hundreds of cities worldwide and continue through the weekend.
A week before the planned protest, the United Nations warned that countries are way off track to curb warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) since pre-industrial times, as agreed in Paris in 2015. The world has warmed at least 1.1 degrees (2 degrees Fahrenheit) since then.
Over the past few months, Earth broke its daily average heat record several times according to one metric, July was the hottest month ever on record, and the Northern Hemisphere summer was declared the hottest on record.
Dozens of extreme weather events — from Hurricane Idalia in the south-eastern United States to torrential flooding in Delhi in India — are believed to have been made worse by human-caused climate change.
Another major strike is planned to take place Sunday in New York, to coincide with the city’s Climate Week and the UN climate summit.
Climate activists have organized similar worldwide strikes in recent years, where protesters from different nations join together on a single day.