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Young climate protesters

Christian Aid position on the global climate strikes

The youth strike movement for the climate is calling for everyone, young and old, to stand in solidarity and mobilise alongside them for the Global Climate Strike. On 20 September, the youth strike will take to the streets in hundreds of towns and cities across the UK and around the world to demand the change we need.

The movement has taken to the streets every month since February to call on the UK government and those in positions of power to take the necessary steps to tackle the climate crisis and create a better world.

For many of the children out on strike, they are too young to vote and so they do not have a say in who forms their governments. Yet it is children and teenagers who are realising the gravity and urgency of tackling climate breakdown in ways our political leaders have so far failed to grasp.

Along with poor communities around the world already suffering from the lack of political action, young people will bear the brunt of our failure to act.

The phrase ‘out of the mouths of babes comes wisdom’ has its roots in the eighth Psalm. It feels like an appropriate summary for these youth-led global strikes.

Our economic system, the relentless burning of fossil fuels, the degradation of natural systems and the extraction of resources has pushed us to the brink of irreversible disaster. The communities that Christian Aid works with around the world have been facing the realities of the climate crisis for many years. Christian Aid is bearing witness to how the crisis has destroyed homes, wrecked lives and displaced people from their land.

Standing in solidarity

We stand in solidarity with these communities, campaigning for the big system changes that are needed to turn the crisis around.

We also stand alongside the youth strike movement and encourage people of all faiths and none to support the mobilisations on 20 September wherever you are in the world, and in whatever way you can. 

We urge young people under the age of 18 who wish to demonstrate their concern by joining the strike to obtain parental permission, and we would remind parents that they assume responsibility for the safety of their children when not in school. We also urge parents, grandparents, other family members, godparents, teachers, youth workers and church leaders to help young people learn about the issue of climate change, and how movements throughout history have played a part in bringing about transformation.

We recognise that some schools and teachers may wish to acknowledge the strikes and the environmental concerns of young people, whilst not being able to support or condone a walk-out. We will provide an assembly for schools that would like to express concern for the environment within school on 20 September. This will be available from 10 September at caid.org.uk/schools/school-strike

For details about what you and your church can do to show support for the strikes, including prayers of solidarity, download our climate strike guide