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Global climate strike: Greta Thunberg and school students lead climate crisis protest – live updates Global climate strike: Greta Thunberg and school students lead climate crisis protest – live updates
(32 minutes later)
Is Donald Trump making climate change worse with his rollbacks?
The US is falling far short of its commitments to curb heat-trapping pollution, in part because Trump has gutted efforts made by his predecessor, Barack Obama.
The country is on track to cut emissions 13% to 16% below 2005 levels by 2020, according to the analysis firm Rhodium Group. That’s short of the 17% reduction the US promised in the Copenhagen Accord. “Looking ahead to 2025, the US is on track to achieve reductions anywhere from 12% to 19% below 2005 levels absent major policy changes—a far cry from its Paris Agreement pledge to reduce emissions 26% to 28%,” Rhodium Group explains.
The US, however, represents 15% of world emissions.
Is Donald Trump a climate change denier? What is his record?
Before becoming president, Trump called climate change a Chinese hoax. In an interview with Piers Morgan, he deflected questions about how his policies promote continued climate-change causing emissions. He said the US has “the cleanest climates” and “China, India, Russia, many other nations, they have not very good air, not very good water.”
Trump’s White House has downplayed the dangers of the climate crisis, including disagreeing with a federal report showing it threatens the US economy. Many of the president’s appointees have denied climate change, and government scientists say their work on the crisis has been silenced.
It is, of course, worth keeping in mind today the specific demands that climate groups have for meaningful action. The Youth Climate Strike Coalition in the US, has issued a set of policy demands which includes:
Transform our economy to 100% clean, renewable energy by 2030 and phase out all fossil fuel extraction through a just and equitable transition, creating millions of good jobs
A halt to all leasing and permitting for fossil fuel extraction, processing and infrastructure projects immediately
Respect of Indigenous Land and Sovereignty and Environmental Justice
Protection and restoration of 50% of the world’s lands and oceans including a halt to all deforestation by 2030
Investment in farmers and regenerative agriculture and an end to subsidies for industrial agriculture
Downtown New York City is packed with sign-bearing people of all ages, though the crowd noticeably skews young. Students from all over NYC have come to the march. Many young children are accompanied by their parents while middle and high school students are here with their friends. Almost all groups have posters in hand.
On the way down to the march, I caught up with students from Professional Performing Arts School, who caught the subway to attend the strike together. They met up at school and decided to go to the march in a group.
“I just want the world to exist the way I knew it was growing up,” said Nyla Robothan, a 15-year-old student at the school, on why she’s striking.
Caught up with students from Professional Performing Arts School in New York who were taking the subway en route to the march. “I just want the world to exist the way I knew when I was growing up,” Nyla, a student, told me. #ClimateStrike pic.twitter.com/dztcOndH1H
Many say this isn’t their first march, having participating in other climate marches or the March For Our Lives protest in 2018. They say that they feel like their future feels uncertain because of the climate crisis, yet no one is listening to their generation.
“Our planet is dying, and no one’s going to be doing anything except for us right now,” said Arlene Guevara, 17, a student at Beacon High School in Manhattan.
Arlene Guevara and Melanie Garcia, two students from Beacon High School. “Our planet is dying, and no one’s going to be doing anything except for us right now,” Arlene told me. pic.twitter.com/NGjHSbhcNd
The march is slowly making its way down to Battery Park at the southern tip of Manhattan, where speakers, including Greta Thunberg, are slated to speak in the afternoon.
We are expecting hundreds of Amazon workers to strike later in their HQ city of Seattle, Washington.We are expecting hundreds of Amazon workers to strike later in their HQ city of Seattle, Washington.
Levi Pulkkinen is there to report on this for us and ahead of the strikes there, sent us this explainer of how some of the giant firm’s workers are taking action and Thursday’s move by Jeff Bezos pledging to improve Amazon’s environmental impact:Levi Pulkkinen is there to report on this for us and ahead of the strikes there, sent us this explainer of how some of the giant firm’s workers are taking action and Thursday’s move by Jeff Bezos pledging to improve Amazon’s environmental impact:
After months agitating for climate accountability from their employer, Amazon.com workers celebrated Thursday as the Seattle-based retail and cloud computing giant pledged to zero out carbon emissions by 2040.After months agitating for climate accountability from their employer, Amazon.com workers celebrated Thursday as the Seattle-based retail and cloud computing giant pledged to zero out carbon emissions by 2040.
The announcement from CEO Jeff Bezos came as about 1,500 Amazon workers prepared to walkout Friday as part of the global strike for climate change. The disruption would mark the first time white-collar Amazon workers have walked off the job.The announcement from CEO Jeff Bezos came as about 1,500 Amazon workers prepared to walkout Friday as part of the global strike for climate change. The disruption would mark the first time white-collar Amazon workers have walked off the job.
Asserting that Bezos’ pledge “proves that collective action and employee pressure works,” organizers of the stoppage reiterated demands that Amazon Web Services stop doing business with fossil fuel companies, and that the company cut ties with lobbyists, politicians and researchers hostile to climate science.Asserting that Bezos’ pledge “proves that collective action and employee pressure works,” organizers of the stoppage reiterated demands that Amazon Web Services stop doing business with fossil fuel companies, and that the company cut ties with lobbyists, politicians and researchers hostile to climate science.
Those calls were left unaddressed by the company, which did announce plans to acquire 100,000 electric delivery vans manufactured by an Amazon-funded company and an $100m commitment to an environmental restoration fund managed by The Nature Conservancy. In a statement, Bezos described the initiatives as evidencing a shift within Amazon.Those calls were left unaddressed by the company, which did announce plans to acquire 100,000 electric delivery vans manufactured by an Amazon-funded company and an $100m commitment to an environmental restoration fund managed by The Nature Conservancy. In a statement, Bezos described the initiatives as evidencing a shift within Amazon.
“We’re done being in the middle of the herd on this issue — we’ve decided to use our size and scale to make a difference,” Bezos said. “If a company with as much physical infrastructure as Amazon — which delivers more than 10 billion items a year — can meet the Paris Agreement 10 years early, then any company can.”“We’re done being in the middle of the herd on this issue — we’ve decided to use our size and scale to make a difference,” Bezos said. “If a company with as much physical infrastructure as Amazon — which delivers more than 10 billion items a year — can meet the Paris Agreement 10 years early, then any company can.”
Amazon, making good on a promise offered earlier in the year, also for the first time released an accounting of its carbon footprint. The assessment, audited by Paris-based certification agency Bureau Veritas, showed Amazon’s direct and indirect CO2 emissions amounted to 44.4 million metric tons in 2018, a year that saw 37.1 billion metric tons of the greenhouse gas released globally.Amazon, making good on a promise offered earlier in the year, also for the first time released an accounting of its carbon footprint. The assessment, audited by Paris-based certification agency Bureau Veritas, showed Amazon’s direct and indirect CO2 emissions amounted to 44.4 million metric tons in 2018, a year that saw 37.1 billion metric tons of the greenhouse gas released globally.
In Seattle, students will march from Cal Anderson Park in Capitol Hill to City Hall starting at noon.From 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., the marchers will hold a youth-led rally for climate justice at City Hall.https://t.co/mKzqh8INSRIn Seattle, students will march from Cal Anderson Park in Capitol Hill to City Hall starting at noon.From 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., the marchers will hold a youth-led rally for climate justice at City Hall.https://t.co/mKzqh8INSR
The Guardian’s Latin American correspondent Tom Phillips has spotted a striking banner in Guadalajara, Mexico.The Guardian’s Latin American correspondent Tom Phillips has spotted a striking banner in Guadalajara, Mexico.
"What's the point in studying for a non-existent future?" #ClimateStrike protesters in Guadalajara, Mexico today pic via @LibiaServin pic.twitter.com/XVpvfw6AVb"What's the point in studying for a non-existent future?" #ClimateStrike protesters in Guadalajara, Mexico today pic via @LibiaServin pic.twitter.com/XVpvfw6AVb
Here’s some footage from climate strikes around the world today:Here’s some footage from climate strikes around the world today:
Miami student Greta Rodriguez feels exactly the same way as the famous teenage climate activist who shares her first name, and had a similar message as she joined dozens of classmates to protest in Miami Beach: We’ve just had enough.Miami student Greta Rodriguez feels exactly the same way as the famous teenage climate activist who shares her first name, and had a similar message as she joined dozens of classmates to protest in Miami Beach: We’ve just had enough.
The 15-year-old was among a party of 50 students from the Cushman private school in Key Biscayne who wanted to make their voices heard in this low-lying coastal city that is recognized as ground zero for sea level rise.The 15-year-old was among a party of 50 students from the Cushman private school in Key Biscayne who wanted to make their voices heard in this low-lying coastal city that is recognized as ground zero for sea level rise.
“We’ve had enough of big business and their trash, burning fossil fuels, depleting the earth,” she said. “It has to change.”“We’ve had enough of big business and their trash, burning fossil fuels, depleting the earth,” she said. “It has to change.”
Chaperoned by biology teacher Jen Russell, the Cushman kids were among the loudest at the Miami Beach strike. “They wanted to be here and the student government association organized the whole thing,” Russell said.Chaperoned by biology teacher Jen Russell, the Cushman kids were among the loudest at the Miami Beach strike. “They wanted to be here and the student government association organized the whole thing,” Russell said.
“It was important to them. We can talk to them as adults but it’s the children who have the voice, it’s their future.”“It was important to them. We can talk to them as adults but it’s the children who have the voice, it’s their future.”
Delighted to meet these smart young ladies from @CushmanSchool at Miami Beach #schoolstrike4climate today. About 50 Cushman students attended, says biology teacher Jen Russell #ClimateStrike @GuardianUS pic.twitter.com/w7dgKolraODelighted to meet these smart young ladies from @CushmanSchool at Miami Beach #schoolstrike4climate today. About 50 Cushman students attended, says biology teacher Jen Russell #ClimateStrike @GuardianUS pic.twitter.com/w7dgKolraO
The Miami Beach strike drew hundreds of students from schools, colleges and universities across South Florida. A similar, simultaneous event outside the Broward school district headquarters in Fort Lauderdale attracted another large crowd.The Miami Beach strike drew hundreds of students from schools, colleges and universities across South Florida. A similar, simultaneous event outside the Broward school district headquarters in Fort Lauderdale attracted another large crowd.
While private schools such as Cushman turned up with numbers, local public school leaders proved less amenable to students walking out of classes, however. Elijah Ruby, 17, a senior at South Broward high school, was banned from his prom for handing out flyers for the Fort Lauderdale event, according to the Miami Herald, and both the Broward and Miami-Dade school districts announced that absences for the strike would be recorded as unexcused.While private schools such as Cushman turned up with numbers, local public school leaders proved less amenable to students walking out of classes, however. Elijah Ruby, 17, a senior at South Broward high school, was banned from his prom for handing out flyers for the Fort Lauderdale event, according to the Miami Herald, and both the Broward and Miami-Dade school districts announced that absences for the strike would be recorded as unexcused.
At the New York event are Zariah, age seven, and Lori Sapphire, who says: “We’re here to save the planet. So no packaging. It’s an easy solution. Focus on solar energy. No more cars burning oil. Stop taking every mineral from the earth. Go back to the simple ways.At the New York event are Zariah, age seven, and Lori Sapphire, who says: “We’re here to save the planet. So no packaging. It’s an easy solution. Focus on solar energy. No more cars burning oil. Stop taking every mineral from the earth. Go back to the simple ways.
“There’s enough for everyone. Stop burning the forests because we want to eat meat and soybeans. Use hemp for everything. It almost a joke that everything were doing is being so selfishly and unconsciously. It like we’re not from the planet, otherwise we’d care.”“There’s enough for everyone. Stop burning the forests because we want to eat meat and soybeans. Use hemp for everything. It almost a joke that everything were doing is being so selfishly and unconsciously. It like we’re not from the planet, otherwise we’d care.”
The crowds in New York are massive but everyone is slowly making their way down to Battery Park.The crowds in New York are massive but everyone is slowly making their way down to Battery Park.
Earlier at the breakfast meeting for indigenous people from the Amazon and Indonesia, 19 year old Artemisa Barbosa Ribeiro, a climate activist known as Artemisa Xakriabá, told the Guardian she is thankful for all the young people who are joining the movement.Earlier at the breakfast meeting for indigenous people from the Amazon and Indonesia, 19 year old Artemisa Barbosa Ribeiro, a climate activist known as Artemisa Xakriabá, told the Guardian she is thankful for all the young people who are joining the movement.
“ I can see a future where we can make a difference but for that we must be listened to and respected,” she said, describing how her people, the Xakriabá peoples, a group of approximately 12 thousand people who live on the left bank of the São Francisco River, in the municipality of São João das Missões, in the state of Minas Gerais, have watched as mining companies have denied them access to the river and its water.“ I can see a future where we can make a difference but for that we must be listened to and respected,” she said, describing how her people, the Xakriabá peoples, a group of approximately 12 thousand people who live on the left bank of the São Francisco River, in the municipality of São João das Missões, in the state of Minas Gerais, have watched as mining companies have denied them access to the river and its water.
“The scarcity of water in the territory is noticeable” she says. “ We need the river and the water for our living and for our spiritual health, our connection to the earth. So access to the river is a big issue for us.”“The scarcity of water in the territory is noticeable” she says. “ We need the river and the water for our living and for our spiritual health, our connection to the earth. So access to the river is a big issue for us.”
Ribeiro, who was recently in Washington DC to demand action from members of the US congress alongside Greta Thunberg, said she felt that Jaire Bolsnaro’s government have a plan for all indigenous people.Ribeiro, who was recently in Washington DC to demand action from members of the US congress alongside Greta Thunberg, said she felt that Jaire Bolsnaro’s government have a plan for all indigenous people.
“I believe they want to assassinate us,” she said frankly. “It’s got much worse in the last eight months. We need support from outside the country because from the inside we have no support.“I believe they want to assassinate us,” she said frankly. “It’s got much worse in the last eight months. We need support from outside the country because from the inside we have no support.
“The main thing you can do in the west to help is to stop importing hard wood because that is causing deforestation and exploitation. That is the best way you can help,” Ribeiro added.“The main thing you can do in the west to help is to stop importing hard wood because that is causing deforestation and exploitation. That is the best way you can help,” Ribeiro added.
Here is a message from Greta Thunberg, who will be making a speech at the New York event later in Battery Park:Here is a message from Greta Thunberg, who will be making a speech at the New York event later in Battery Park:
There are many, many hundreds of protesters in DC. Blocks and blocks of a roughly 6-lane street filled and more coming and marching toward the US Capitol. I can’t see the end.
#climatestrikedc #globalclimatestrike #fridaysforfuture pic.twitter.com/cyuHjnnurX
#ClimateStrikedc #globalclimatestrike pic.twitter.com/1hfciTiNSN
“This is the fight for our future” #dcclimatestrike #GlobalClimateStrike pic.twitter.com/WwqsaJty9Q
#globalclimatestrike hundreds behind them not pictured #dcclimatestrike pic.twitter.com/7s4bisRNGa
“I speak for the trees. They said f**k you.” #climatestrike #GlobalClimateStrike #dcclimatestrike pic.twitter.com/90uefWI3Vv
“Whose plant? Our planet” #ClimateStrike #GlobalClimateStrike #dcclimatestrike pic.twitter.com/9HXofNgSWO
This gives you a sense of how big the gathering in New York is - so many people want to participate.
#ClimateStrike protest is so big in Lower Manhattan that the #NYPD had to shut down all of the streets in a section of Lower Manhattan, including the exit from the Brooklyn Bridge. @PIX11News @NYPDnews pic.twitter.com/SSMgxSEhsU
Delaney Reynolds has addressed the general assembly of the United Nations on the climate crisis. She has appeared in a prime time National Geographic special, written books, won awards, launched a non-profit battling sea rise, shared a stage with Al Gore and changed laws in almost a decade as an environmental activist and entrepreneur.
She is also still only 20.
“The youth voice is extremely powerful,” says Reynolds, a speaker at this morning’s youth climate strike in Miami Beach.
“I hope our elected leaders realise that current young voters and soon-to-be voters care passionately about this issue and very much want to see something done about it.”
Reynolds is not afraid to play hardball to tackle the climate emergency. She is the lead plaintiff of eight young Floridians currently suing their state and its governor for “violating their fundamental rights to a stable climate system” through their reliance on fossil fuels.
But she knows collaboration can work just as well as confrontation. As a teenager she was instrumental in getting the city of South Miami to adopt Florida’s first law requiring solar panels on newly-built homes.
“We also spoke at a Miami-Dade budget hearing and the same day after hearing the children speak the county created the post of chief resilience officer,” she said.
“The young generation is starting to realise our voice matters. Our leaders are going to have to pay attention if a bunch of kids stop going to school and start standing on their steps at city hall. They may not have a vote but they do have a voice.”
Climate protestors in Miami Beach not mincing their words. Another sign I just saw says simply: "It's fucking hot." #ClimateStrike @guardianus #schoolstrike4climate pic.twitter.com/MTr6MR5tG5
If scientists are right, Miami Beach City Hall will be under 7ft of water by 2100. The youth of Miami has something to say about it #ClimateStrike @guardianus #schoolstrike4climate pic.twitter.com/KbT1sKpGbN
The climate strike is being held the same day as the two-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico and left nearly 3,000 people dead.
In recognition of that event, the climate strike is happening in concert with a Puerto Rico Day of Action to highlight the struggles the island still faces in its effort to rebuild, while remaining vulnerable to the impact of climate change.
Marisol Rivera, a 13-year-old Puerto Rican student in Brooklyn, has been speaking on Friday about Maria and how it impacted her family, She will connect the issues there to the climate crisis.
Other Puerto Rican activists will also speak at the event, including Gustavo Rivera, a New York state senator (he is unrelated to Marisol).
Puerto Rico is still recovering from the hurricane, which affected all of the 3.5 million Americans who lived on the island. Its power grid was knocked out completely by the storm and families reported having no electricity nearly a year after the hurricane.
Here are some photographs of people gathering in New York’s Foley Square.
Donald Trump is set to attend the United Nations headquarters during Monday’s key summit on the climate crisis – but will be there to take part in a meeting on religious freedom instead.
A senior UN official confirmed to the Guardian that the White House has booked one of the large conference rooms in the New York headquarters on Monday so that the president can address a gathering on religious freedom.
The move is likely to be seen as a blatant snub to the UN climate summit, to be held in the same building on the same day. Leaders from around the world, including the UK prime minister, Boris Johnson; France’s president, Emmanuel Macron; and India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, are expected at the summit as part of a major UN push to heighten the response to the escalating climate crisis.
UN sources said the booking of the room was relatively last minute and will cause some logistical issues given the major security operation that accompanies the US president wherever he goes. But a senior UN official said they were “not panicked” given the large organizational capacity of the UN general assembly.
“No one was really expecting the president to come to the climate summit,” the official said. It’s understood that senior UN staff have realistic expectations of Trump and do not expect him to engage on the climate crisis, even for a summit held in his hometown. Trump has vowed the US will withdraw from the landmark Paris climate agreement.
Trump to attend religious freedom meeting at UN during climate summit
Many folks have come to New York from all over the world to attend today’s strike, planning their trips months in advance.
Our Village, a coalition made of indigenous groups and communities of color, spoke to reporters this morning, in a studio space in New York City where they were making signs and distributing T-shirts in anticipation of the march.
Dinaman Tuxá, traveled from Bahia, Brazil with a delegation of six Brazillians from all over the country to speak out against the injustices against indigenous communities in Brazil.
“We’re going through a process of genoicde. … President Bolsonaro, he’s decimating hate against the indigenous populations of Brazil,” Tuxá said through a translator. “Us, the indigenous people, we are the guardians of the forest. … We need the world to recognize our contributions and help us protect our territories.”
Tuxá said that he traveled to New York because Brazillians aren’t listening to the cry of indigenous communities in their country, so they’re making an international cry in anticipation of the UN climate summit.
I’m helping @guardian with its live coverage of today’s climate strike in NYC. I started my day off with Our Village, a coalition of indigenous groups and communities of color, who are prepping for the march. People came from as far as Brazil and Indonesia for the strikes. pic.twitter.com/12hiaL2fF3
The United Nations headquarters in New York will play host tonight to an immersive art installation by artist Joseph Michael that features images of an iceberg and six young advocates, including Greta Thunberg, addressing hopes and fears around the climate crisis. We have some pictures from last night’s final rehearsal:
Voices for the Future: climate activism lights up the UN – in pictures
We will be live through the rest of the day here in the US with Oliver Milman, Lauren Aratani and Ed Helmore reporting on the big rally in New York city.
Emily Holden, meanwhile, is out with activists in Washington DC while Richard Luscombe is at the strikes in Miami Beach.
Later on, Levi Pulkkinen in Seattle will be with more than 1,500 corporate Amazon workers expected to strike to highlight criticisms of the company’s climate policies. CEO Jeff Bozos said on Thursday that Amazon would do more and pledged the firm would be carbon neutral by 2040.
Susie Cagle, meanwhile, will be reporting on the strikes from the city of Richmond, California, and we’ll also have a dispatch from Dom Phillips in Rio de Janeiro.
All week, the Guardian has been part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate emergency.
Welcome from the Guardian’s office in New York, where we are now anchoring live coverage of these calls for climate action, which have drawn huge crowds around the world.
We expect the US will be staging its largest ever climate strike, with actions planned in more than 1,000 locations, including major rallies in New York, Washington DC, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Miami.
Here at the Guardian’s New York office, members of our team in midtown Manhattan walked out at midday local time to participate in the strike.
Further downtown, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg will be leading a big strike rally which she is expected to speak at later in the day, ahead of addressing the UN’s Climate Action Summit next week.
Activists are gathering in Foley Square, near City Hall, and will start marching south on Broadway at 1pm ET to rally in Battery park.