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Climate Crisis, Youth, and THE Movement

Updated: May 21

By Amanullah Porag, South Asia Mobilizations Coordinator, 350.org and YECAP Fellow


The global youth climate movement, or the “unnecessarily loud movement” according to some people, is loud, bold and vibrant. And we, the youth activists all over the world take pride in being this way. The world we live in, the catastrophe we are already in, demands drastic actions and massive systems change.  Every year, the youth of the world gather twice to demand climate justice together.


What started as a small movement by a young girl from Sweden, has now become a global force of solidarity of young people. The 19th of April event wasn’t any different when hundreds of young people from across Bangladesh took over the streets of Dhaka to demand climate justice. It wasn’t just another event, it was a thunderclap echoing across the globe, a testament to the unyielding power of young people to demand change and this thunderclap was in fierce solidarity, united by a cause that transcends borders and languages.

 

This year, the message of the global climate strike was to fix the finance, because the youth can’t and won't tolerate a system that profits off the planet's destruction, so when the placards of the strike said, “Fix the Finance!”, that wasn’t a plea, that was a roar. Coming from the global south, we have witnessed firsthand the destruction unleashed by climate induced disasters. We experience harm, and we lose something every day because of the crisis, so when we roared, “Fix the Finance”, we didn’t mean more loans to “save” us. We are already drowning because of the climate crisis; we don’t want to drown in loans anymore.

 

The beauty I find in the global youth climate movement is that we don’t only demand things in a generic way, we are beautifully creative with our words, and we can call out the polluters, the ones who prioritize profit over people and planet, the ones lining their pockets while the planet burns. For example, when we chanted, “What are you gonna eat with your oil money, if there is no planet left”, it wasn’t a question, it was a reminder to them that they can’t eat money. Or when we chanted, "Your hands are black with oil, when are you gonna be better human beings?" It wasn't a question either, it was a call to action.

 

But to me, the most powerful message of all was when we chanted “Who are we? We are the planet.” We, the youth, are not bystanders in this crisis. We are the present, we are the future, the voice, the protectors of this planet and we will not be silenced or ignored. Our voices will continue to echo, as long as needed.

 

In conclusion, the significance of the global youth climate movement lies in its sheer force and unwavering unity. Dhaka's strike was a single wave in a tsunami of youth demanding action. From the streets of Dhaka to the bustling avenues of megacities worldwide, the youth have risen, the youth are rising. We are armed, not with weapons, but with an unyielding determination and a love for our planet that burns brighter than any fossil fuel.

 

The old guard may try to dismiss us, but they can't drown out the collective roar of a generation. This movement goes beyond borders and languages. It's a testament to the power of young people to create an unstoppable force for positive change. We are the storm, and we will not rest until climate justice is served. This is our planet, and this is our future. And for those who care about the people and the planet, this climate action movement doesn’t have to be ours alone, you can be a part of it too. The storm is gathering strength, and there is room for your voice too.

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