Students across San Diego traded the classroom for the streets this Friday, joining climate strikes around the world for the second time and capping a week focused on demanding action from political leaders.
The protests were inspired by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, who spoke to world leaders this week at a United Nations climate action summit in New York.
Friday’s global rallies kicked off in New Zealand, where young people marched on Parliament in Wellington, holding one of the largest protests ever held there. More than 100,000 rallied in Rome, Italy. In Washington D.C., climate activists blocked the streets around major banks and the Trump International Hotel during morning rush hour.
One of the largest strikes in San Diego was held at the University of California San Diego, where dozens of students marched in response to a stark report released this week by the Intergovernmental Plan on Climate Change (IPCC) on the impact of global warming on our oceans.
The students aim to launch UCSD’s own "Green New Deal," with goals for the university to meet its carbon neutrality goals by 2025, divest from all fossil fuels, and to teach students how to become climate leaders.
“We are facing escalating catastrophes,” said organizers of the UCSD Climate Action March in a joint statement. “We are marching to demand that UCSD be a leader in teaching all its students about the climate crisis.”
San Diego high schoolers across the county organized their own rallies as well, including San Dieguito Academy, Ingenuity Charter School, and Mira Mesa High School.
Students from Rancho Buena Vista and Vista Mission high schools plan to host a climate change sit-in at Vista City Hall Friday afternoon. Student leaders at the sit-in will urge local government to create a plan that effectively combats all aspects of the effects of climate change.
While the UN summit wrapped up on Sept 23 with several countries committing to net zero carbon emissions by 2020, some of the largest carbon emitting countries, India, China, and the United States, gave little word to update their plans to cut emissions.