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Climate Change Protests on the Rise: How They Affect Energy Use

September saw the development of the September 2019 climate strikes, better known as Global Week for Future. These protests were actually an international effort where people all over the world protested and went on strike to demand something to be done about climate change.

Global Week for Future took place from the 20th of September until the 27th. The starting date had significant meaning: Only three days earlier, the United Nations Climate Summit took place.

The UN Climate Summit is all about analyzing the impact of carbon emissions and how they can be reduced effectively around the world. The objective is to come up with visionary and viable policies for the future so that the effects of climate change can be controlled.

The international protests took place in over 4,500 different locations in 150 countries of the world. The movement was actually inspired by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who went on strike for the first time on 20 August 2018 every day for several weeks. She then decided to strike every Friday, and quite a lot of people joined in all over the world.

The largest protest days to date have been 15 March, with over a million people participating; 20 September, with over 4 million participants; and 27 September, with 2 million people.

Reports say that, as of writing, around 6 or 7 million people have participated in these protests and strikes all over the world. The truth is that, regardless of what the number is, the Global Week for Future has unleased the largest climate strikes and protests in our history.

Organizers of the event have reported that over 4 million people participated on September 20 alone. To break things down by country, 1.4 million of those people were Germans, 300,000 were Australian, another 300,000 were English, and an extra 250,000 were located in New York City. What’s more, the protests were officially supported by more than 2,000 scientists.

Now, you might be wondering what this has to do with energy use. Well, if there’s something we’ve learned about climate change and our part in it, it’s that the fossil-fuel industry has been responsible for a lot of the damage done to our planet.

The use of fossil fuels has been extremely detrimental to the health of our planet and to the sustainability of it as well. Moving away from that has brought a lot of positive changes even though the damage already done is already catastrophic. These climate change protests remind us that the way we produce energy matters and that the energy industry needs to continue moving away from fossil fuels until they’re no longer used.

We can’t live without energy—that’s stating the obvious. It’s necessary for our survival in 21st-century life and also for our development as a human race. The key is to cope with energy demand in an effective way that’s sustainable while still being healthy for the environment. Hopefully, these protests will bring even more light onto the subject so we can continue to move forward as a species and as a planet.

Ben Schultz's picture

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Discussions

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Oct 9, 2019 1:45 pm GMT

Indeed a big story in these times-- and you're right that the key to how they affect energy use will be in the type of energy use, not as much the amount of energy storage. 

What do you think might be the nearest term effect that the protests bring to the energy markets, though?

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Oct 9, 2019 4:04 pm GMT

Recc'd, Ben, for avoiding the term "renewable" anywhere in your article. More evident by the day is the fact wind and solar energy will never be capable of weaning the world from fossil fuels.

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