To the editor,
Climate change will be among the most important issues transforming our world over the lives of current students, damaging prospects for human economy, peace, security, health and wellbeing. The human causes of climate change are well understood, its impacts widespread and solutions are at hand.
Friday, Sept. 20 is an internationally designated day to draw attention to climate change, part of a youth and student-driven movement. Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg started a one-person protest about climate change inaction in 2018. She has helped energize a youth movement focused on the generational injustice of climate change and the lack of global action. Sept. 20 has been designed to bring the issue of climate change, always simmering in the background, to the forefront, sending a message that this is an issue about which people care and demand action. Young people in over 150 countries are planning events for this day, including walk-outs, marches and sit-ins. Local rallies will be in Chapel Hill and Raleigh.
The Sept. 20 events will start a week of activities coinciding with the United Nations Climate Action Summit on Sept. 23. The UN meeting will convene world leaders, aiming to convince countries to make more ambitious commitments to combating the growing climate crisis with the aim of global net zero emissions by 2050.
This event is unique in that it is youth-led while urging adults to participate, and the organizers have a pointed aim of breaking through the complacency associated with addressing climate change.