Climate Change: Protests and Action Summit

Protestors gather in Cape Town, South Africa

Protestors gather in Cape Town, South Africa

Ellie Hood

At this point, we’ve heard it all. 

“The world is dying.”

“There is no Planet B.” 

“Climate Justice now.” 

On September 20th, 2019, climate change activists around the world took to the streets to protest what they feel is not being done about our world’s so-called “climate crisis.” There were 2,500 events scheduled worldwide in 136 countries, all of which had a combined attendance of four million people. Around 250,000 of these protesters were in New York City alone. In Washington DC, some of the city’s major roads became gridlocked as protesters clogged the streets.

According to the New York Times, these climate protests boast the greatest number of young people to ever actively protest against the government. In New York, the school board excused all 1.1 million students from school to allow them to attend the protest. In DC, students as young an elementary level purposely skipped school in order to attend the protests there. At the UN Climate Action Summit, 16-year-old Greta Thunberg of Sweden boldly reprimanded 193 different countries, telling them “you have failed us.” Thunberg later, along with 15 other children, filed complaints against Germany, France, Brazil, Argentina, and Turkey, accusing them of violating human rights by not taking action to fight climate change. 

Greta Thunberg speaks at the Climate Action Summit in New York City

While UN-Secretary General Antonio Guterres said that “the global climate emergency is a threat to security and stability,” not much has been done. The Paris Climate Agreement from 2015 is still in effect, but Thunberg says that it is not enough. 

To read more in depth about climate issues, I have cited my sources below. 


Photo Credits: Stephanie Keith and Brenton Geach

Barclay, Eliza, and Brian Resnick. “How Big Was the Global Climate Strike? 4 Million People, Activists Estimate.” Vox, Vox, 21 Sept. 2019. 

Criss, Doug. “Activists Want to Shut down Traffic in Washington to Make a Point about the Climate Crisis.” CNN, Cable News Network, 23 Sept. 2019.

Johnson, Lauren M. “International Day of Peace: Preventing Conflict through Climate Action.” CNN, Cable News Network, 21 Sept. 2019.

Kann, Drew. “Greta Thunberg and 15 Other Children Filed a Complaint against Five Countries over the Climate Crisis.” CNN, Cable News Network, 23 Sept. 2019.

Picheta, Rob, et al. “Global Climate Strike: Live Updates.” CNN, Cable News Network, 20 Sept. 2019.

Sengupta, Somini. “Young People Take to Streets in Global Climate Protest.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 20 Sept. 2019.