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Young people have been the face of the climate crisis this past year, standing together in solidarity across the world to demand the rights to their future. The school strikes for climate, influenced by the famous teenager Greta Thunberg from Sweden, have grown each month thanks to the quick spread of the movement on social media. Young people from hundreds of countries and cities around the world have been taking to the streets to demand immediate action on climate change before it is too late.

Last year the UN warned that we have only 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe, yet the climate crisis is still not at the top of many government agenda’s. Every country could be doing more to prevent a climate crisis. We spoke to young climate strikers from Uganda, Sierra Leone and Brazil on what they think needs to be done about climate change.

Nakabuye Hilda Flavia, Fridays for Future Uganda

Hilda Striking in Kampala, Uganda

“Climate change is one of the greatest challenges affecting humanity in the 21st Century. We are facing temperature rising, heat waves, heavy rainfall that causes flooding and no rainfall at all that leads to droughts and poor harvests. Plantations are drying up. Landslides and mudslides. Our biggest lake, Lake Victoria, surface waters have warmed by almost 1.2 degrees in 82 years while the temperature rose by 1.6 degrees. This posses a significant threat to lives and livelihoods of Ugandans as much as it does to the whole world. Agriculture is the backbone of Uganda’s economy but poor climatic conditions have reduced our productions.”

“Politicians should declare public climate emergencies in their respective countries. Corporate organisations and communities need to take personal responsibility to reduce their carbon footprint.”

Young strikers in Uganda

“Students and young people should stand up and speak up and this climate crisis to raise their voices and fight for their future.”

“I joined the global strike for climate as a victims of this climate crisis and I believe we can do something about it. Our leaders should be acting as examples to the young generation but are not so it is upon us to stand up and demand for the safety of our future through climate strikes.”

Alhassan Sesay, Sierra Leone School Green Clubs

Youth climate protesters in Sierra Leone

“The planet is facing an unprecedented event of self-destruction. The planet as a life support system that hosts all our civilisation is coming under serious threat. Our development efforts and strides are taking a negative overture towards our existence on the planet. Planet earth for now is the only known planet that supports plants and animal existence. It is under a persistence threat of oblivion with the tendency or reversing the gains that the human intellect have achieve over the human intellectual development. Climate change is having a devastating effect on our way of life.”

“We need concerted global actions to address the challenges we face in dealing with climate change as well as political will to address the problems of climate change.”

Sierra Leone School Green Clubs strike outside Council building

“We need a climate emergency endorsed by The UN security council to compel member states to take concrete climate mitigation actions. Climate Change must be reversed of all cost to save the planet and humanity.”

“We joined the globe youth strike to add substance to the already exiting global strike movement in show of support and solidarity against climate change and global warming.”

Nayara Almeida, Greve pelo Clima Brasil – Fridays For Future Brazil

Fridays for future Brazil strike in Rio De Janeiro

“I think that we need be radical about the climate changes because all of the science research shows us that we must act now. “

“It’s time to push politicians to act, and make those denying the crisis realise that it is there independent of their beliefs and affecting all of us.”

“Last month, I and others young wrote a letter to the president of Brazil begging him to do something, because if we do not do anything today it will certainly bring tragic consequences to the population and biodiversity of Brazil.”

“Many people in Brazil are unaware of the climate crisis. During all of the strikes, we always talk with people about the topic. Me and my friends think that many people are confused, they don’t know about it or think it isn’t true. I feel that Brazil failed to promotes climate education and I worry because it is us citizen who will have to suffer this crisis.”

Fridays for future Brazil strike in Rio De Janeiro

“Here in Rio De Janeiro we have felt the effects of climate change first hand. We have had sudden storms that killed people, streets and houses got flooded, and for hours we have no electricity . It was a caos! The city stopped. It is stressful not knowing if the next rainfall will be fatal or not. My mother is a hand-maker and this rainfall can affect whether she makes money. A day with no electricity is one less day to produce crafts, so it means less food to my family. It’s awful.”

“I joined Greta’s strikes, that are called “Greve pelo Clima”(Strike for the climate) here in Brazil. Seeing her take action gave me courage to go to the streets, strike with others young people, talk with people about climate justice and build together a better future.”

Fridays for future Brazil strike in Rio De Janeiro

“I believe the we, the youth, can change our reality and the reality of who is around us. The movement in Brazil is not only in the state of Rio de Janeiro, more than 30 different cities have already participated, and it is only growing.”

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