Youth for Our Planet | News

Striking for the climate in the UK

My name is Joe, I'm 17 and from the UK I'm a campaigner at UKSCN (UK Student Climate Network). I've always known about climate change but it was only recently that I realised it isn't just some distant possibility, it's affecting people right now. Despite being responsible for less than 3% of global emissions Africa is continually being hit the hardest by the climate crisis, with flooding, drought and extreme weather events causing a food crisis across the continent. Discovering that these people were suffering because of our socio-economic system shocked me but it also inspired me to stand up against injustice. When I heard about the school strike movement it didn't take much for me to get involved. I joined the first school strike here in the UK and pretty soon started messaging various school strikers from around my country on Instagram asking how I could get involved on a larger scale. I joined the UK Student Climate Network and from there my involvement kind of spiraled out of control. It's crazy to think that a year ago I wasn't even aware of this problem yet now I'm traveling to other countries to try and solve it. What have I had to face as a climate activist? Not much. More than 3 environment/land protectors or activists are killed every week, I'm very lucky that here in the UK I can protest with very little risk. For me my biggest problem has been balancing my school and activism, I'm grateful that this is all. Even in Russia school strikers are arrested and followed by secret police so I think I'm just very fortunate I don't have to face anything like that. My short-term goal is to help the September 20th protest here in the UK so that it's huge! We expect it to be the largest climate mobilisation in history and we would like to see a million people taking to the streets to demand that the government takes much stronger action on the biggest issue of our time, climate change. But in the long-term I would like to see the government commit to a Green New Deal so that we can decarbonise the colony by 2030 whilst also achieving a just transition for workers and combating the inequalities in our country. Overall, I want to see climate justice.