With the theme of ending the age of fossil fuels at the Asia Pacific Climate Week, I thought I’d use this time to shed some light on the upcoming Climate Strikes set to take place in 117 countries between September 20-27.
For some background, young Climate Strikers world over, have been demanding that governments take urgent action to prevent climate breakdown by phasing out fossil fuels, and beginning the urgent transition to a sustainable, renewable energy powered future centered on climate justice and equity.
Young people are calling on millions of us across the planet to disrupt business as usual and scale-up our mobilizations to match the urgency of the climate crisis.
Here are a few things that we know:
- Climate change is all around us: and for vulnerable communities that are hit the worst, this isn’t a distant threat. Climate change is a lived experience for millions and there’s no time to lose in the fight for climate justice;
- The climate crisis is affecting different people with different forces in different ways. Those groups that are most disadvantaged – such as women, people of color, and Indigenous Peoples – are affected in ways that are reinforced by the same systems causing climate breakdown; and
- According to a report on Asia published in Vice, the 9 countries that will be most affected by climate change are all right here in Asia and in spite of this, expansion plans in Asia account for over 70% of new coal capacity being built or in development.
BUT even, more importantly, we also know that:
Across Asia and the Pacific young people are rising up to sound the alarm that our house is on fire and that we need urgent action now.
- In the Pacific, there are 17 events planned in island communities.
- In Southeast Asia, there are events planned in the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Singapore.
- In South Asia, there are 10 events planned for Pakistan, there is an event in Nepal, 14 events registered in India and an event in the Sundarbans planned for Bangladesh.
- In East Asia, Japan has 16 registered events – while actions in South Korea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan grow by the day.
Young people know that to change everything, we need everyone and they believe that an organized movement of people can create alternative pathways that are possible, desired and necessary.
This is our chance.
This is our time to organize our communities and push our leaders to act with urgency.
September 20-27 won’t be the last day we need to take to the streets, but it will be a new beginning.
Multigenerational action against this climate breakdown is imperative and we need to follow alongside the youth who have been leading the way this year.
Fenton Lutunatabua, 350.org Asia campaigner