17 June 2019

South Africa: This Youth Day, Young People Are Demanding Climate Justice

analysis

'Why study for a future that I won't have?' That was the pointed question put forward by a teenager skipping school to protest against inaction on climate change. She was not alone in questioning what her future would look like if we failed to act. Across the country, in the build-up to Youth Day, young people rallied to demand ambitious climate action and climate justice now.

On Thursday, in the drought-stricken Eastern Cape, youth, farmers, rural communities, and unemployed peoples' movements marched to the office of the premier to deliver a climate justice memorandum. On Friday, in flood-devastated KwaZulu-Natal, the South African Youth Climate Change coalition marched to the KZN legislature demanding climate justice.

In Cape Town, young people who grew up with the reality of day zero hanging over their heads rallied outside parliament and delivered their climate justice demands. In various parts of the Free State, Mpumalanga and Limpopo, youth collectives are meeting to learn about climate justice and organise. Outside of the Union Buildings, young people rallied and delivered a petition to the president calling for climate justice now.

These are just some highlights from over a dozen actions that took place across the country where young...

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