Global environmental protests in 2020

Climate justice continued to be one of the most discussed topics worldwide in 2020. The Covid-19 pandemic ensured that climate protests and environmental campaigns were mostly held on social media, though a large number of young people still took to streets in many places around the world.

Protestors anxious about their future demanded that world leaders take urgent action on climate change and keep their promises on global warming.

Greta Thunberg, the 18-year-old Swedish climate activist whose one-person strikes in Stockholm helped ignite a global movement, criticised the Swedish court’s “green light” for a new oil refinery: “It will make it impossible for Sweden to reach the emission targets in line with the Paris Agreement. End of story”, she wrote in a tweet.

In the fifth year of the Paris Agreement — the first ever universal, legally binding global climate change agreement — political parties did not undertake ambitious efforts to share responsibility for the climate crisis.

Many climate activists around the world joined the digital strike as part of the Fridays for Future movement on 10 April, and organised the 5th Global Climate Strike digitally due to the coronavirus outbreak.

On 16 January, Extinction Rebellion demonstrators blocked entrances to Shell’s headquarters in Aberdeen, Scotland, in solidarity with Nigerians suffering from the company’s actions in their country.

On 3 September, six Portuguese climate protesters aged between eight and 21 applied to the European Court of Human Rights to sue 33 countries, including Britain, Norway, Russia and Turkey. The court accepted the application, which emphasised that climate disasters hinder people’s right to live, their housing and their families.

With the protests that started as a result of the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police in the US, the Black Lives Matter movement became intertwined with the environmental movement. Activists stated that anti-racism is important for the environmental movement and the climate crisis cannot be resolved without tackling racism.

Protests against the fires in the Amazon forests were held in Brazil, as well as in many European countries. Young people and activists in Brazil gathered to protest against President Bolsonaro.

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Global environmental protests in 2020

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