17.5 Cultural Transformation: Global Climate Strike

Author: Daniel Troy

ABSTRACT: The Global Climate Strike is a movement started by 350.org that has been progressively gaining momentum for the past 10 years, all about raising awareness and instigating action towards fighting climate change. They have orchestrated demonstrations all over the world with millions of participants from all walks of life.

ART by AD NAKA DESIGNS from Global Climate Strike


The Global Climate Strike in 2019 was an organized and coordinated week-long series of protests and demonstrations in over 185 different countries. The demonstrations included millions of people marching through the streets calling for change of bureaucratic practices that do nothing to help or even endanger the environment. It took place from September 20th-27th in 2019 and included demonstrations from office strikes to school walkouts. The whole point of these protests was to encourage action in members of the community to fight for change in their communities. Awareness campaigns have lost their priority for 350.org, considering basically the entire population is more than aware of the situation, the current effort is to rally people to “take action” now. This is described as “climate leadership” (350.org), and means being the embodiment of change and to lead by example. The theory is that if everybody practice as they preach then the outcome will be impossible to ignore.

The program originally started in 2009, with their first public demonstration consisting of around 50 people and was more about awareness. Since then, the organization has grown dramatically in size and influence, allowing an event as large as the climate strike in 2019 to occur. However, the organization has stated that their efforts did not culminate in the 2019 climate strike, but that that was simply another effort making progress towards the greater goal. Their ultimate goal is to run these events and demonstrations until the United Nations or other governing bodies reach an agreement for a “fair, ambitious, and binding climate treaty” (350.org). Unfortunately, the 2019 strike has been their largest effort so far since Covid-19 has made large gatherings rather difficult and even dangerous. This has not discouraged anyone, and they plan to pick it up right where they left off in 2019 when public health is not a concern.

The effect the climate strike has been felt worldwide. For starters, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as well as 3 other candidates in the most recent election all attended the climate strike in 2019. Trudeau’s administration has started a program which pledges to plant 2 billion trees in the next ten years, and so far, the program has seen success (Canada.ca). China has seen more and more unrest about their situation and stance on carbon emissions, especially in Hong Kong where less than 1% of their total electricity comes from renewable sources. France has seen some action from private industries. Companies such as L’Oréal and Saint-Gobain have both pledged to make the change to carbon neutral by 2050.

Of course, this isn’t the end. There is lots of work to do before getting the treaty made and put in front of the right people, but the effect of this movement has been seen. 350.org wants to include all who want to make a change and works to combat certain barriers and social climates to making change happen. They want to inspire the people of today to make change when they become the leaders and governors of tomorrow. In doing this, they plant the seeds of change in our world, and just need to make sure they grow right.


“350.Org Celebrates 10 Years.” 350.Org, https://350.org/10-years/

Canada, Service. “Government of Canada.” Canada.ca, / Gouvernement Du Canada, 26 Mar. 2021, www.canada.ca/en/campaign/2-billion-trees.html.

Global Climate Strike. ART. How to make Climate Strike Art. https://globalclimatestrike.net/art/

Wikipedia. “September 2019 Climate Strikes.” Wikimedia Foundation, 19 Apr. 2021, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_2019_climate_strikes.

United Nations Climate Change. “What is the Paris Agreement?” https://unfccc.int/process-and-meetings/the-paris-agreement/the-paris-agreement.

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