World's youth call for strong climate action, governments must listen

A week ahead of the EU leaders’ discussion on the EU’s long-term climate vision, on Friday, March 15th thousands of schoolchildren around the world will be striking to demand stronger action on climate change from their governments.

The youth climate strikes were started by Greta Thunberg in August 2018.

The movement has reached hundreds of thousands of young people worldwide. 

On March 15th, young people from 100 countries including all EU Member States, are going to participate in the Global Strike for Future to urge governments to step up action to tackle dangerous climate change and fully implement the Paris Agreement. They invite all citizens to join their call. 

Commenting on the climate strikes, Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe said:“The strikes make it clear to leaders that they need to take ambitious and immediate action. EU leaders meeting next week simply cannot ignore this powerful call to address the climate crisis. They need to work towards taking a decision on reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero as soon as possible, and massively scaling up emission cuts by 2030. 

"If leaders harness the momentum for more climate action that the youth create, we will still be able to avoid the most devastating impacts of climate change.”

On 21 and 22 March, EU Heads of State and Government meeting at the European Council in Brussels will be discussing the EU’s draft long-term climate vision, setting out actions the EU should take to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C. In the draft strategy published in November, the European Commission recommended that the EU adopts a target of reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 at the latest.

To have a good chance of limiting temperature rise to 1.5°C, the EU needs to fully decarbonise. As it is emission cuts between now and 2030 that will make or break the response to climate change.

EU leaders meeting next week need to work towards taking a decision soon on both the long-term and the 2030 EU climate targets, well in time before the UN Secretary General Climate Summit of September 2019, where all countries are expected to put forward new commitments for more climate action. 

EU climate policy will be a central element of the Future of Europe debate at the all-important Sibiu Summit in May, which constitutes a perfect opportunity for the leaders to endorse the long-term climate vision then.

Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe's leading NGO coalition fighting dangerous climate change. With over 150 member organisations from 35 European countries, representing over 1.700 NGOs and more than 40 million citizens, CAN Europe promotes sustainable climate, energy and development policies throughout Europe.

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Martin Banks

Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a highly qualified journalist with many years experience of working within the EU institutions. He is an occasional, and highly valued, contributor to EU today, writing on a wide variety of issues.

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