Over 1 million students are expected to walk out in a strike to call for global action on climate change on Friday, writes the BBC. The students are calling on government agencies and lawmakers to take action to slow the rate of climate change.
The Friday protest follows the last organized protests that took place on March 15, in which 1.6 million students from 125 countries were estimated to have walked out of school to demand action. The protest Fridays have become known as Fridays for Future or School Strike for Climate.
The movement of school students striking for climate change action was started by one 16-year-old teenage girl in Sweden named Greta Thunberg. In 2018, she sat outside the Swedish Parliament building with a sign that read “school strike for climate change.”
Thunberg has since become a global figure for taking action to alert lawmakers to the urgency of the situation. She has traveled all over the world to spread her activism and fight to introduce more environmentally friendly measures.
The schoolgirl has addressed the U.N. Climate Talks in addition to speaking at Davos, Switzerland, in January at the World Economic Forum.
As a result of Thunberg’s tireless efforts, it was announced that she was nominated for a 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, which, if she wins, would make her the youngest person in history to earn one.
On Friday, strikes were organized in Australia and New Zealand, moving to the nations of India, Afghanistan, Thailand, and Japan, before spreading to Europe as the rest of the world slowly began waking up.
On Thursday night, Thunberg joined fellow climate activist Luisa Neubauer, 22, to call on older generations to join the strikes in an open letter.
“This is a task for all humanity. We young people can contribute to a bigger fight, and that can make a big difference. But that only works if our action is understood as a call. This is our invitation.”
The activists continued, “on Friday, 20 September, we will start an action week for the climate with a worldwide strike. We ask you to join us… Join in the day with your neighbors, colleagues, friends and families to hear our voices and make this a turning point in history.”
The students who participated in Friday’s strikes claim that it is only the beginning and that they will continue to boycott their classes until their countries agree to sign the 2015 Paris climate agreement, which aims to prevent global temperatures from rising 1.5C (34.7F) above pre-industrial levels.