Students and youth under the banner of Fridays For Future (FFF), a global movement demanding climate justice, protested outside the Union Environment Ministry on Friday afternoon.
“We are asking for our rights. Not begging to anyone”, “Scrap Draft EIA 2020”, “Emergency! Seas are rising” were some of the slogans the protesters wrote on a road opposite to the Ministry. They also carried placards and raised slogans and demanded the government to act against the climate crisis.
“Stop denying, our earth is dying,” read one placard. “Make love, not CO2,” read another. The group also said they would be submitting a detailed list of demands to the Delhi government next week.
The FFF is a global climate strike movement that started in August 2018, when 15-year-old Greta Thunberg began a strike in Sweden. In the three weeks leading up to the Swedish election, she sat outside the Swedish Parliament every school day, demanding urgent action on the climate crisis that turned into a global movement.
One of the main goals of the movement is to put moral pressure on policy-makers, to make them listen to scientists and then to take action to limit global warming.
Their demand for Delhi includes saving the Aravallis, improved sewage management plants to prevent pollution of the Yamuna, public participation in policy-making and better environmental education in schools.
“Today was the global climate strike and this year’s theme is to fight climate injustice. We are focusing on the people who are most affected by climate change, such as urban poor and adivasis and highlighting their problems. Next week, we and other youth groups are planning to release a vision document on what to do about the climate crisis,” Pranav Menon (25), a student, who was present at the protestsaid.
“We were protesting outside the Environment Ministry because over the past few months, the government has passed many damaging legislations and rules, including the EIA 2020 and public consultation on environment laws are almost zero,” he added.
“To solve a problem, first you have to acknowledge it, but the government has failed to even recognise the climate crisis as a problem. The frequency of extreme weather events is increasing exponentially and the government is not doing enough,” said a 22-year-old student, Lakshay.