Climate activists marched from Hallgrímkirkja church to Austurvöllur square today to urge the Icelandic government to act on climate change. Inspired by Swedish youth activist Greta Thunberg, Icelandic activists have been striking weekly since February 22 to demand immediate action on the part of the government to fight climate change.
The demonstration took place at Austurvöllur earlier today, in front of Alþingi, the Icelandic Parliament.
“The government published an environmental plan for 2030 with the goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2040. While we support this plan, further action is needed,” states the event description. “We demand drastic action. Now. For coming generations. For safeguarding our climate.”
The ongoing protests are youth led, organised by the National Union for Icelandic Students (LÍS) and the Icelandic Upper Secondary Student Union (SÍF), among others. The strikes are 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.
Young protesters came out in force today. Ten-year-old Lana Sóley Magnúsdóttir, pictured in the yellow coat, with her friends at the demonstration. The girls, from left to right are, Matthildur Grétarsdóttir, Unnur Efemía Ragnarsdóttir, and Sóley Erla Arnarsdóttir. “I’m suffocating,” reads the sign, held by Unnur.
Data from Gallup shows that more Icelanders than ever before are interested in and concerned about environmental issues. In a recent survey, 62.6% of Icelanders reported having changed their behaviour in recent years to lessen their impact on the environment. Iceland Review previously reported on the matter.