Global Climate protest: Which countries are doing the most to tackle the global crisis
New Delhi, Sep 21: Thousands of people staged protests across the world on Friday demanding action against climate change.
From New York to Guatemala City, Sydney to Kabul, and Cape Town to London, protesters in hundreds of cities around the world took the streets, demanding their governments take urgent steps to tackle the climate crisis and prevent an environmental catastrophe.
The protesters chanted slogans like "We want climate action", and displayed banners like "Be a part of the solution, not part of the pollution", "Respect existence or expect resistance" and "Climate Change: 12 years to save Earth".
What is the Global Climate Strike movement?
The #FridaysforFuture movement, also known as the Youth Strike for Climate Movement, started in August 2018 after Greta Thunberg sat outside the Swedish parliament every school day for three weeks to protest against inaction towards climate change and called for concrete government action.
Then in September 2018, Thunberg called for a strike every Friday until the Swedish parliament revised its policies towards climate change. Gradually, students and adults from across the world started mobilising and demonstrating in front of parliaments and local city halls in their respective countries, making global, a local movement.
The Paris Agreement
The protests come at a critical juncture following the 2015 Paris climate accord, an unprecedented international agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In recognition of this, 179 countries and the EU spent two weeks in Paris during December 2015 hammering out the final wording of an agreement to keep global temperature increase well below 2C and if possible, below 1.5C. The reduction in temperature can only be achieved through a significant reduction in the emission of greenhouse gases. Known as COP21, (The 21st Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change), it was one of the largest gatherings of world leaders ever seen.
Participating countries are supposed to continually ratchet down their emissions, and their first plans for doing so must be ironed out next year.
What the countries are doing to tackle the global crisis
The Gambia, Morocco, and India are at the head of the class, according to a recent article from National Geographic. "Even though carbon emissions in The Gambia, Morocco, and India are expected to rise, they'll fall short of exceeding the 1.5-degree Celsius limit," the article reads.
Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United States, on the other hand, get a big fat F. "Projected emissions in Saudi Arabia, Russia, and the United States are far greater than what it would take to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius."
Norway, China, and the UK all received shout-outs for their efforts. Even though the U.K. isn't hitting its goals, it still managed to reduce emissions by 44% between 1990 and 2018, according to the report
Climate change has become an increasingly important issue for voters in recent years, particularly in Europe. In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel's government plans to announce a package of measure s that would put the country on course to cut its emissions 55 per cent by 2030 compared with 1990 levels.
Achieving Paris accord a distant dream?
A report released last year by a UN science panel concluded that there's still a chance to meet the 2015 Paris climate accord's goal of keeping global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100 compared with pre-industrial times.
But achieving this would require drastic measures, including ending the use of fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal by mid-century.