UCF Global Perspectives


Students in Europe Rally for Climate Change

John Heinbockel, Alexandra Cousteau Environmental and Global Climate Change Fellow

January 31, 2019

Young, student protesters skipped classes in Germany, Switzerland, and Belgium to demand their governments respond faster to climate change (BBC). One German student claimed protesting took priority over education, and followed the claim by questioning the purpose of school “if we have no future?” (BBC). These protests were inspired by 16-year-old Swedish student Greta Thunburg who spoke at a luncheon at Davos, the site of ongoing World Economic Forum Meetings (NPR). Thunburg first gained fame by sitting on the stairs of the Swedish parliament building in protest every Friday since September (NPR).

Many of the protesters said that although governments and large corporations are acting, there could be more action being taken. Belgian protester Pieter Van Der Donckt stated the entire community can put forth more effort to help curtail climate change (AP). In addition, many of the students want governments and large corporations to follow the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015 (BBC). According to Thunburg, people and governments need to act now, “to safeguard the living conditions of humankind in the future” (BBC).





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