We asked children around the world to tell us why they will be taking part in Friday’s climate strikes. Here’s what they said
‘Our future is in danger’
I’m taking part on Friday because adults, and especially politicians, have not done enough to save our future. We have to get them to listen to us and believe what scientists have to say. I’m participating in a strike located in Tampere. We will get together on Sori Square (Sorin Aukio) and march to the central marketplace (Keskustori). I think the earth needs this climate strike movement. And we need it too, because it’s our future that is in danger. I’m so happy to see the youth rise and demand back a planet where we can live. Elina, 14, Finland
‘I feel responsible to do something because I love animals’
I don’t want to see the world struggle; the world dying because we are not doing anything about it. We are making more disaster by not changing bad habits to help the climate crisis such as fossil fuels, cars, palm oil, plastic and ruining animal habitats. I feel responsible to do something and take action especially as I love animals and according to the science many can disappear in my lifetime.
I am half Balinese and the climate crisis affects places like Bali and it mainly hurts the poor people there as they don’t live in houses that can stand the dramatic changes in the weather. So I want to try to help the world become a better place. How can we stop climate change if we don’t know what to do? I feel that we should learn more about this at school and specialised people should come and talk to us. We need more people’s ideas about what to do and how they think we should help. Nia, nine, Kent, England
‘There are no more excuses’
I find the movement inspiring, powerful and making change. In Iowa, I’ve been on strike for the past 10 weeks. In those weeks, there has been historic flooding in western and eastern Iowa. But this flooding is nothing compared to the cyclones that hit Mozambique. We must act now. I believe there is a climate emergency, so we are marching to the city hall to call on our council to declare a climate emergency and update their climate action plan to meet IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] standards. There are no more excuses. Massimo, 14, Iowa, US
‘The crisis is more important than fear’
I’ve always been somewhat aware of the climate crisis but until recently I didn’t realise how bad it actually was, and I didn’t feel like there was much I could do about it anyway. I thought I was the only young person who actually cared about this, and all I could do was recycle. Then, last November, I found out about Greta Thunberg and the school strike movement and I thought: “Wow, this is something I can do!”
At first I was hesitant about starting my own strike; as I am home-educated the idea of asking other young people to strike sounded a bit odd. But on 15 March I went to the Cambridge strike and I was absolutely astounded by the amount of other kids there! It was amazing when I realised that so many other people care about this. After that I decided to stop messing around and decided that the climate crisis was more important than a fear of whether other kids would listen. Eva, 12, Suffolk, England
‘Our planet was handed to us broken and destroyed’
I will be taking part on Friday because I am scared for mine and other children’s futures. Our planet was handed to us broken and destroyed from previous generations and it is seriously unfair that we should be hit with its full effects. There was Hurricane Sandy and there were floods but I moved to New York in 2014 and live pretty high up so I don’t get hit as hard as people in Redhook or the Rockaways might.
I feel both empowered and scared. It is awesome that we have come this far and that kids have taken notice of our world’s faults but it’s frightening that we have to. If adults had taken action before it escalated to this point, we would have had a lot more time to help piece Earth back together.
To the kids, keep working hard and we will eventually force adults to take action, this is our future we are protesting for, they can’t take it away. To the adults who aren’t doing anything, you have let it get this far, when will climate change have killed enough people for you to take notice? To adults who are trying to help, thank you. We need more people like you to get this job done. Every person counts. To everyone, think when you go to a cafe, do I really need this plastic bag or straw? Remember to refuse. Zola, 11, New York, US
by Rachel Obordo, Guardian Readers | The Guardian