Today, on United Nations International Youth Day, we stand with young people all over the world fighting for the future.
Over the course of this year, an estimated 1.4 million students across 150 countries have taken part in a wave of youth climate marches.
Life on earth is under immense pressure. The climate crisis threatens the ability of the planet to remain habitable for humanity. Young people have been foregoing their schooling each Friday to teach the rest of us a lesson: our house is on fire.
Now, these young people are asking everyone else to heed their call and join in. That is why Global Witness staff, inspired by the youth climate movement, will be joining the Global Climate Strike on 20 September, 2019.
And if you can, we hope you will too.
Our global economic system, reliant on the burning of fossil fuels and the extraction of resources, has pushed us to the brink of irreversible disaster. The scientific warnings could not be clearer. Failure to keep average warming under the Paris Agreement target of 1.5 degrees Celsius will mean more extreme weather, species extinctions, food and water shortages, and sea level rises. All of this will continue to hit the poorest hardest, who have less access to support to adapt and cope.
We also know the most vulnerable are the least responsible, and already face the consequences of flagrant corporate greed and negligible government inaction.
But we also know that hope is not lost, because we see it. It is right there, in our inspirational youth fighting for their future.
Our work at Global Witness is about people and planet. We help expose corruption in the fossil fuel industry. We work to shine a light on the brave people who give their lives to defend our planet. We campaign to stop the runaway deforestation that is killing the earth’s lungs.
And so it’s our duty to respond to this call.
By joining in the call of our planet’s youth, we stand in support and solidarity with those across continents who are already bearing the brunt of climate chaos, as well as those who put their lives on the line to tackle it.
In the lead-up to the Global Climate Strike on September 20th, we will be working to lift up the voices of the youth leading this effort.
And on September 20th, you can find us on the streets, along with millions of people worldwide. We’re asking others to join us, too: from the companies we share our offices with, to our allies around the globe, and to you - whoever you are, wherever you are.
We know not everyone is able to join in walking out of work for a day. It’s a privilege to be able to stand up in this way. But when you can, when you have the opportunity to, it becomes a responsibility.
Global Witness Staff