Environment Minister Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson met with organisers of the weekly climate strike last week, RÚV reports. The ongoing strike, organised by the National Union for Icelandic Students (LÍS) and the Icelandic Upper Secondary Student Union (SÍF), is meant to urge governmental action on climate issues. According to a press release from LÍS, last week’s protest drew over 200 attendees, including elementary and secondary school students, university students, and the general public.
At the meeting, the Minister and strike organisers went over the protesters’ demands, which are first and foremost immediate and more ambitious measures to fight climate change and increased budget allocation to address the issue. The Minister and organisers agreed that the government cannot solve the issue alone. The organisers, however, emphasised that the government must take the lead, as it holds legislative power.
Strike representatives have also requested to meet with Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir and Minister of Finance Bjarni Benediktsson. While Katrín has invited the group to meet with her on March 13, Bjarni Benediktsson has yet to answer the request.
The strike is inspired by Greta Thunberg whose school strikes for climate in Sweden have garnered widespread attention and led to youth protests in Belgium, Britain, the United States, Australia, and Germany. Iceland’s third weekly climate strike will be held tomorrow in Austurvöllur square between 12.00 and 1.00pm.