“There is actually no point in going to school if our world is going to die,” said one student as she marched through the streets of Brussels. On 24 January, more than 30,000 students participated in a demonstration for climate action in the capital of Belgium, organized by teenagers in response to Greta Thunberg’s statements at the UN Climate Conference in Poland in December of 2018. The march was supported by the Belgian Ministry of Education. Students called for stronger climate policy and immediate action.
Greta Thunberg’s student marches in Sweden during summer 2018, her subsequent addresses in Poland and Switzerland , more than 30,000 students marching in Belgium, and now more than 60,0000 students across Europe demanding climate action have caught the public’s attention. What does the recent surge of youth engagement in climate activism mean for the movement? Could we see such demonstrations replicated and amplified elsewhere, signalling greater urgency? Will business and government respond with more drastic action, or will sustainable development carry on along its current slow trajectory?
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