‘We’ll strike, you vote,’ say climate kids

School children around the world are set to hold their largest ever climate strike tomorrow as adults across the EU go to the polls to choose a new European Parliament.

The youth strike movement has seen school and university students walk out of classes all over the world to protest government inaction around the climate emergency. Tomorrow’s ‘strike’ could be the biggest single day of action yet with events planned in 1,594 places in 118 countries.

Greta Thunberg, the 16 year old Swedish climate activist that popularised the school strike movement was featured on the front page of TIME magazine last week. Unable to vote herself, Thunberg has a message to those who can:

“If you, like me, are determined to bring attention to the ongoing climate and ecological crisis and truly care about the future living conditions for all species, then going to vote is one of the most powerful things you can do.”

School strikes have been taking place all over Europe since the start of the year but Friday’s action takes place in the middle of the four-day European elections.

Members of the European Parliament are elected for five-year terms. They have the chance to help shape EU laws and drive topics like climate and environment to the top of the agenda in Brussels and Strasbourg.

Tens of thousands of children and young people have taken part in the school strikes in Brussels alone. In January, an enormous protest marched through the European district and past the EEB offices.

The voting age is 18 in most European countries, so some participants in the school strike have asked older family members of gift them their vote. Others have demanded that the voting age be reduced to 16 in countries where it is not already the case.

Whether you ‘gift’ your ballot to a younger family member or vote yourself, make sure to choose a candidate or party which prioritises the environment and a sustainable future, urges EEB Secretary-General Jeremy Wates. “Get out and vote… your planet needs you,” he urges.