Leaving Lectures to Lobby for Climate Action
“There is no planet B!”... “The time to act is now!”...
“It’s getting hot in here, so take off all your coals!”
... were just some of the many messages emblazoned across signs held by protesters at the #ClimateStrike in The Hague last week.
On Friday the 27th of September, climate activists from New Zealand to Norway gathered in their prospective towns to strike for climate justice. It was an event of global coordination with record participation numbers, and the central Dutch strike held in The Hague was no exception.
We, as members of the UvA Green Office invited all environmentally-minded students to join us at the strike, and the turnout was commendable! A large group of students met at Centraal in the morning, before running en-groupe to catch a very packed train to The Hague.
Armed with homemade cardboard signs of protest and plastic-free packed lunches, a group of both UvA and HvA students joined over 15.000 people - Dutch and expats alike - to strike for climate action. Our collective purpose was not only to show the world that there is public support for climate justice, but also to protest the Dutch government’s handling of the climate crisis with regards to the latest reports from the IPCC. The hope is that the Dutch government will commit to an ambitious climate mitigation policy. Despite the daunting size of our goal, protesters were in high spirits, and there was a feeling of hope in the air as we marched alongside thousands with music, dancing, and chants for the climate.
Why now? This question was popular amongst onlookers. While members of the public have been demanding climate justice for years, this global coordination was brought about by the popularity of the #FridaysforFuture movement - a weekly climate strike of school children started by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg. This global Friday protest was coordinated to coincide with the UN summit held in New York City last week.
Did you miss the strike, but you want to know more about how to help our planet? Follow us on Instagram @uvagreenoffice for handy tips about living a more sustainable lifestyle, and checkout @plasticfreeamsterdam and @littleplantpantry if you’re looking at reducing your plastic consumption. Last but not least, try looking at your plate as an opportunity for daily action! We can continue to help the planet by abstaining from meat, fish, dairy and eggs and you can follow @veganfoodinstagram to find out where to eat in town.
Catch you next time!