World leaders must not let down climate protesters

Students at Global Climate Strike in Dhaka on Friday
Students at Global Climate Strike in Dhaka on Friday demand climate justice

Mostafa Kamal Majumder
Three thousand school and college students in Dhaka joined the Global Climate Strike carrying placards seeking climate justice, an end to the use of fossil fuels and chanted slogans urging action from global leaders to protect Planet Earth from climate catastrophes.They protested the lack of adequate action to protect their future that is set to be doomed in the event of climate change if not halted with concerted efforts beginning right now. Hundreds of thousands of students from Asia to America came out to join the strike being led by the teenage Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg from New York.
The international protest from 150 countries came ahead of the UN Climate Action Summit. Greta Thunberg who sailed from Sweden to New York has already led protests in front of the White House urging President Trump, leader of climate deniers, to accept the reality and join efforts to arrest global warming and sea level rise that threaten to doom life on earth. She has also labbyied with the US Congress urging its members to listen to what scientists say about the threats of climate change.
In Bankok young strikers played dead in front of the environment ministry, demanding that the Thai government acts on climate change or “this is what will happen,” BBC reported.
“I don’t feel like I can have kids. Because it’s too cruel to bring them into a world that’s dying and I think that the fact that that’s what our politicians are putting us through and that so many young people I talk to have that mentality, it’s really sad,” Australian High school student Juliet, 18 has been quoted as saying from Friday’s protest rally.
Last year leading climate scientists warned that only a dozen of years ate left to limit the climate change catastrophe. They said, atmospheric temperatures need to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C above preindustrial level, beyond which the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people will multiply.
The teens from across the world have no choice other than organising this unprecedented global protest as world leaders appear to be more disunited than ever before to take care of threatened Planet Earth. Worse even is the fact that the US which has led the free world for nearly three-quarters of a century has under the leadership of President Donald Trump withdrawn from the 2015 Paris Deal that has a pledge and plan of action to secure a sustainable future for mankind by bringing down carbon dioxide emissions, responsible for global warming and climate change.
The Paris pledge includes protection of biodiversity that sustains the ecosystems in which living beings exist and thrive. This can be achieved only if people in all countries of the world commit not to deplete natural resources only to meet their present needs. The natural resources base needs to be protected to regeneration limits to support life and livelihood of future generations.
From September 2oth to 27th young people from across the globe are observing a Global Climate Week demanding climate justice. A second worldwide strike is planned for September 27.
When the World Commission of Environment and Development led by former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland produced its report ‘Our Common Future’ in 1987 and set a definition of sustainable development, it meant the present generation must not deplete natural resources to meet their own needs but also leave resources to meet the needs of future generations.
Today, 32 years later, teens have risen across the world to assert, it’s our future that’s at stake. The world leaders who are meeting at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York must not fail them, because this would hasten the dooming of Planet Earth.
(First published in The Asian Age, Dhaka on 21 September 2019)