Green Friday

We’re coming up on the end of the year, but the momentum on climate action is just heating up

November 20, 2019

3:36 pm

"Thought we were done?” reads a post on the Fridays for Future Instagram account. “See you on November 29 & December 06."

Yes, even though we are heading into the holiday season, and even though there is no school for most American cities next Friday (as it falls on the U.S. Thanksgiving weekend), the youth-led climate-strike movement is heating up.

November 29 may be Black Friday, but it will also be the first of another back-to-back Friday climate strikes, following the UN Week pairing on September 20 and 27 this past fall. And like the last pair of strikes (which sandwiched a “week of climate action”), this twin-billing will also be led by an international coalition of youth-led organizations that has come together to collaborate on the campaign. The youth strike coalition coordinated by Future Coalition (full disclosure: a grantee of Earth’s Call Fund), includes Fridays for Future, Youth Climate Strike, Zero Hour, Earth Uprising, Earth Guardians, Extinction Rebellion, the International Indigenous Youth Council, and the Sunrise Movement.

“The ground game is stronger than ever,” wrote Future Coalition Executive Director Katie Eder in an email to coalition members. “The actions that are being planned are some of the most creative, and exciting actions I’ve seen thus far. Hundreds [of strikes] are being planned so far and we’re excited to see that number grow.”

In years past, after a climate-related story dominated news cycles — a devastating fire or hurricane, a legislative victory or set back — the news cycle pressed on. But this year, youth-led organizations are doing their best to keep the story alive. And that means taking action to call attention to the climate during the Thanksgiving weekend, and then to the annual UN COP conference, and beyond.

COP25 is, of course, the 25th annual meeting of the UN climate conference [“COP” stands for “Conference of the Parties”], which will take place Dec. 2-13. [For those not familiar with the UN conference by that designation, you are probably familiar with the Paris Climate Conference, which was also a COP — COP21.] This COP will take place in Madrid, Spain, but under the presidency of Chile, which was supposed to host the conference but ended up pulling out because of political unrest in that country.

“While the days will look different than September 20th,” added Eder, “I think they are going to bring much needed escalation and energy to the movement and COP25!”

That escalation will continue into 2020. On tap in January is the annual international convening of the World Economic Forum and global bigwigs in Davos, and that will be followed by a run up to the 50th anniversary of Earth Day in April.

For now, those interested in helping turn up the heat even further can:

  • Participate in a strike on Nov. 29 or Dec. 6
  • Host a strike of your own (to register a strike, visit strikewithus.org)
  • Post on social media using the hashtags #StrikeWithUs and #ClimateStrike
  • Consider another hashtag for next week: #MakeBlackFridayGreenFriday

(Photo credit: Marcus Spiske)

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