FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 6, 2019
CONTACT: Ben Rubin | email@example.com | 646-559-8263
Youth Decry Lack of Climate Ambition at COP25, Striking in More Than 280 U.S. Locations
The Youth Strikes Take Place As World Leaders Convene in Spain for International Climate Negotiations to Reduce Global Climate Pollution
After a November 29 global strike with nearly 2 million people demanding climate action at COP25, youth across the U.S. will return to the streets today. The Strikes comes after a week of lackluster results at COP25 that lack the transformative action required to prevent the catastrophic impacts of climate change. A Strike will also take place in Spain at COP25.
Bernie Sanders announced plans to join the youth climate strike in Iowa and Jane Fonda plans to participate in Washington D.C. Schools in Boston, Philadelphia, and Broward County have excused students to participate in the wave of strikes across the nation.
The Strikes come as week one of the two week international climate negotiations concludes. World leaders are currently at COP25, negotiating implementation of the landmark Paris Agreement. President Trump has announced his intention to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement, the only country in the world that would not be part of the climate plan to keep warming to 1.5 degrees.
The Strike takes place the same week that 222 parents groups from 27 countries released a heartfelt joint plea calling on negotiators at COP25 to push for ambitious and urgent climate action to protect children’s health, lives and futures.
The November and December strikes build on the momentum of September 20th’s historic Climate Strike, the largest youth-led climate mobilization in U.S. history. With over 650,000 people in striking across over 1,300 locations in America, and 7 million worldwide, September 20th was a call for elected officials and world leaders to rise up and address the climate emergency with swift and effective policies.
This round of strikes mark the beginning of the climate strikes starting to escalate – many organizers planning non-violent direct actions around the country. Student strikers plan to continue to grow this momentum into 2020 to make it clear to elected officials and world leaders that they cannot continue to ignore the climate emergency.
Organized and led by youth in the Climate Strike Coalition, the strikers are united by a set of policy demands released earlier this year. The demands include a strong focus on protecting people, through saving indigenous land, helping frontline communities, and supporting a just transition.
The Climate Strike is a multigenerational and intersectional movement, with youth-led organizations leading national organizing efforts with support from an adult coalition, including organizations such as Alliance for Climate Education, Center for Biological Diversity, Climate Hawks Vote, Center for Popular Democracy, GreenFaith, Greenpeace, Interfaith Power and Light, Labor Network For Sustainability, League of Conservation Voters, Mothers Out Front, March On, Move On, National Wildlife Federation, NextGen America, NRDC, Our Children’s Trust, OxFam, SEIU, and Sierra Club.
“In September, millions of people mobilized across the globe to demand our governments take action to stop the climate crisis. We rallied, we marched, and we protested. Our message was loud and clear. Despite this, our demands have still not been met. And now we’re taking our movement to the next level.” — Katie Eder, Executive Director of Future Coalition
“What will it take for world leaders to stop putting money and politics before our futures, our lives? How many more youth must sacrifice their childhoods to fight for change? How many more people must be displaced, injured, or killed at the hands of this climate emergency? The solutions are right in front of us – we can change this crisis now if we do it together.” — Bridget Lord, 16, FFF USA
“My Indian brothers and sisters feel the greatest impacts of the climate crisis but are entrapped in a system of oppression that prevents them from doing anything. I strike for them and all those left without a voice” – Ritvik Janamsetty, Press Coordinator, Earth Uprising
“On December 6th, the youth’s eyes will be on leaders at COP25 to make meaningful change and to include us as part of the decision making process. If they don’t, our movement is only going to continue to grow.”– Sophie Anderson, Co-national coordinator of Extinction Rebellion Youth US
“Every second, big oil and energy companies are pumping poison into our earth by the ton, while world leaders watch them from the sideline. If we choose to stand idly by climate catastrophe is only years away and our futures are in jeopardy. On December 6th we will not stand idly by. On December 6th, we choose to fight.” — Jonathan Palash-Mizner, Co-national coordinator of Extinction Rebellion Youth US
“Black Rock is investing a massive amount of money in deforestation, deforestation of the Amazon (lungs of our planet) that’s threatening the lives of indigenous people who’s home is the Amazon. They are investing in fossil fuels and private prisons that hold migrant children (people like me) and adults. They are literally investing to harm others to get profit. It is a cruel system we live in, and if we want to make change happen we have to show up! Show up for people like me who are labeled illegal in a land that is literally stolen, show up for people suffering the consequences of climate change and contributing less to the crisis, show up for the people who’s communities are dumping grounds of polluted air from oil and gas infrastructures” — Dulce Ceballos, Youth vs. Apocalypse (San Francisco)
“I strike for the black and brown woman being affected everyday. For the millions of people in the global south who are being affected everyday. For the thousands of children and families in California being affected everyday. For the indigenous communities that are affected everyday. The climate crisis affects the people of color, minorities, and the underprivileged the most. We must protect our people in this world and I Strike so that our voices are heard and so we have a future.” — Khristen Hamilton, Zero Hour Volunteer Management Director
“I was so inspired by the last climate strikes when millions of people took to the streets to demand the government take action to stop the climate crisis, but it was so disheartening when none of our demands were met. Young people can’t give up now. Today, when we strike, our message will be loud and clear: We will not stop striking, we will refuse to go to work and school, until people in power commit to prioritizing our future by meeting our five demands.” — Rose Strauss, Sunrise Movement
“Students shouldn’t feel this responsibility to strike, but this is the reality of the world we live in. Getting out elected leaders to act on climate change means it’s crucial to strike. Striking disrupts a system that’s profiting off of the destruction of our planet” — Leandra Mira, FFF Pittsburgh
“I’m striking because apathy is no longer acceptable. Our politicians has decided been complacent for far too long, and we need systemic change to combat the climate crisis. In addition, I strike for my family in India who are forced to breathe toxic air every day. Business as usual is catastrophic for frontline communities, who understand that the climate breakdown is not an impending crisis, it’s happening right now. Yet though the clock is ticking on the climate emergency, we still have time to act. That’s why millions of youth are going on strike on December 6th.” — Supriya Patel, Earth Uprising Partnerships Coordinator and FFF Sacramento Leader
I strike on December 6th in solidarity with communities across the world and in America who are forced to endure the consequences of a climate catastrophe that they are minimally responsible for. Our national leaders refuse to acknowledge the systems of oppression plaguing our global society, specifically colonialism and capitalism, that have been the root causes of the crises we face today. I have the privilege to strike and intend to use it this Friday to demand real, structural change from my representatives, as that is the only way to secure a livable future for generations to come — Kimaya Mahajan, Washington Youth Climate Strike
“I’m striking because for decades, fossil fuel billionaires and corrupt politicians have been lying to us. Now, the science is clearer and the stakes are higher than ever. Enough is enough. We must act.” — Naina Hardin-Agarwal, Sunrise Movement
“I am striking in Philadelphia on December 6th because we have been left no other choice. Adults in our city have refused to acknowledge the crisis and make direct and radical change to address it. We need action now because occurrences such as the PES Refinery that exploded last summer will become a norm and more and more young children will die from Asthma and Childhood cancer, of which we have the highest rates of.” — Sabirah Mahmud, Pennsylvania Youth Climate Strike
“These strikes are exemplary of the fact that we are not willing to stand down. We will keep on striking and protesting until our last breaths if that is what it takes because we have everything to lose. The youth have spoken and it is time for our supposed leaders to finally listen.” — Anisa Nanavati, Earth Uprising North America Continental Lead
“As we continue to hear the dire warnings and see the disastrous effects of the climate crisis, we the youth refuse to stand back and simply wait while our futures are being destroyed. On December 6th, we come together again to demand that world leaders at COP25 take bold and unprecedented action to fight this crisis that will affect our lives and the planet we live on.” — Mohammad Ahmadi, Earth Uprising Outreach Coordinator
The Youth Climate Strike Coalition is composed of the following organizations:
Earth Guardians is an organization that empowers young environmental and social leaders through education, tools and resources, in order to become effective leaders in their communities.
Earth Uprising is a global, youth led organization focusing on climate education, climate advocacy and mobilizing young people to take direct action for their future.
Extinction Rebellion Youth is led by a community of young people within Extinction Rebellion, a network focused on coordinating national civil disobedience actions to draw attention to and persuade governments to act on the climate and ecological emergency.
Fridays for Future USA is a people-led movement around the climate crisis. Founded in August 2018, Fridays for Future was inspired by teen activist Greta Thunberg, who sat in front of the Swedish parliament every school day for three weeks to protest against the lack of action on the climate crisis.
Future Coalition is a national network and community for youth-led organizations and youth leaders. Future Coalition works collaboratively to provide young people with the resources, tools, and support they need to create the change they want to see in their communities and in this country.
The International Indigenous Youth Council is an organization that seeks to organize youth through education, spiritual practices and civic engagement to create positive change in our communities.
Sunrise Movement is a youth-led movement of young people committed to stopping the climate crisis. Sunrise Movement is currently leading actions around a Green New Deal and need for a Democratic debate dedicated to climate change.
US Youth Climate Strike is a youth-led movement that helped organize over 424 student strikes occurring in at least 45 states on March 15, 2019.
Zero Hour is an intersectional movement around climate change. In 2018, Zero Hour organized the first official Youth Climate March in 25 cities around the world and laid the groundwork for the climate strike movement.