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#FridaysForFuture: Students say, ‘No clean air, no vote’ in climate change protest

Climate change
Protests outside the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India in Delhi. Image credit, John Paul Jose, Twitter

The global school strike against climate change for a greener and a cleaner world today enters its 34th week. It is #FridaysForFuture – a day for schoolchildren across the world to skip their classes and hit the streets to voice their concerns over global warming.

Today in a remarkable development leading climate scientists joined the movement started by sixteen-year-old Greta Thurnberg last year. A joint statement said, “We declare: Their concerns are justified and supported by the best available science. The current measures for protecting the climate and biosphere are deeply inadequate.” Seeking solidarity, they added, “we call for our colleagues across all disciplines and from the entire world to support these young climate protesters.”

Under the blazing Delhi sun students from various schools joined the global movement and protested outside the ministry of environment office in the capital. In a bid to make climate a crucial election agenda amid the poll season, students were heard shouting, ‘No clean air, no vote.’

Talking ‘green’ this election season, Greenpeace India has started an online signature campaign to divert attention of our politicians towards the most crucial issue at hand. The environment body is calling upon all political parties and representatives to tackle the urgent environmental issues in the country and asking citizens to vote for climate change. The online petition says:

‘We have only 11 years to take urgent climate action by rapidly reducing emissions! And India, which has the second largest population in the world, is about to choose it’s Government for 5 of those 11 years!

From air pollution claiming 12 lakh Indian lives every years, affecting the health of millions of children & adults to dirty rivers & plastic pollution: the new Government will have to take urgent environmental action for the safety of the people & the planet.’

Social media is abuzz with colourful images from across the world where students are vociferously advocating political pledges for a cleaner world. But sadly in India, these slogans and protests are falling on deaf ears of politicians who are engaged in misplaced priorities. Though climate change features in the manifestos of national parties, It is not part of their big election agenda in the way that it should be – and until they take notice, the climate strikes continue.

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