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25

The Climate Strikes and Public Activism: where do we go from here?

Wednesday 25 March 2020

St Mary’s University College Belfast, 191 Falls Road, Belfast BT12 6FE

The climate strikes have successfully mobilized millions across the world. How does the movement convert people power into policy changes needed to tackle the climate emergency?

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), global carbon emissions by 2030 need to be limited to 1.5?C. Failure to do so will cause long–lasting or irreversible damage to natural and human systems from global warming. This will include the extinction of entire eco–systems, droughts, flooding, population displacement and increased poverty and hunger.

This event will debate how 16–year old Swedish activist, Greta Thunberg and the Fridays for Future Climate Strike movement has become such an effective campaign for raising awareness of the climate emergency drawing participation from across civil society as well as young people.

It will hear from local activists involved in the climate strike movement in Belfast who will talk about their activism journey and how their participation has enhanced their awareness of the issue and their personal development. It will also hear from young people and non–governmental organisations supporting the climate strikes on where the campaign should go from here to translate public action into policy change and reduced carbon emissions.

7,000 people attended the mass climate strike in Belfast on 20 September 2019 which reflects broad public support for climate action. How do we ensure that this public base is retained and converted into meaningful change?