A demonstration will be held in Austurvöllur square on Friday afternoon to raise awareness and urge governmental action on climate issues. The event, which is being organized by the National Union for Icelandic Students (LÍS) and the Icelandic Upper Secondary Student Union (SÍF), was announced on Facebook and per the description, will be held every Friday going forward from noon to 1pm.
“The strike is inspired by Greta Thunberg whose school strikes for climate in Sweden have garnered widespread attention,” explains the event post. “Tens of thousands of youth have followed her example and went to the streets to object to the authorities’ lack of action, in Belgium, Britain, USA, Australia, Germany, Sweden and other countries.”
The organizers point to a recent Gallup poll in which 62.6% of Icelanders reported having changed their behaviour in recent years to lessen their impact on the environment and climate. The survey showed that 51.6% of Icelanders have specifically made changes to their daily shopping habits in order to reduce their environmental impact. Around one quarter of Icelanders also reported having changed their travel habits for the same reason.
“The government published an environmental plan for 2030 with the goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2040” write the student organizers. “While we support this plan, further action is needed. The current plan is not conducive to reaching the goal of staying below 1,5° C warming. We demand actions that have the capacity to reach that goal.”
“According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 2,5% of GDP must be reserved for actions towards keeping the temperature rise within 1.5° C. The Icelandic plan is to spend 0,05% of GDP per year for the next five years. We demand that Iceland rise to the challenge, listen to the scientists, declare an emergency and reserve at least 2,5% of domestic GDP for direct climate actions. The labour market must also take responsibility and therefore a certain change of mindset must take place.”
“We demand drastic action,” the event post reads in closing. “Now. For coming generations.”