Icelandic Youth Mark One Year of Weekly Climate Strikes

Climate Strike Iceland

Students demonstrated in Austurvöllur square on Friday, demanding that the government take action on climate issues. Friday marked the one-year anniversary of the first weekly School Strike for Climate in Iceland. To mark the day, primary, secondary, and college students gathered in front of Hallgrímskirkja just before noon and marched to Austurvöllur square, in front of the Icelandic Parliament, where student leaders delivered speeches demanding action on climate change.

Vísir reports that young Icelandic activists involved in the ongoing #FridaysForFuture school strikes say the government has yet to take meaningful steps towards addressing climate issues in the country. This was the 52nd Friday that young people in Iceland have demonstrated in support of climate change action.

Jóna Þórey Pétursdóttir, the president of the University of Iceland’s Student Council, told reporters that she believed students’ ongoing protests have had a measurable impact thus far, particularly in terms of making the topic of climate change a public debate and raising awareness about climate issues. “…[W]e’re showing that young people are ready to take matters into our own hands. The goal, of course, was to demand increased measures from the government and we’ve yet to see those. Which is why we’re going to continue,” she remarked.

“We want a bright future,” Brynjar Einarsson, a student at Háteigsskóli primary school, told reporters. “A future that isn’t polluted. One where we can live without needing to be worried that we’re going to die because of climate change.”

Brynjar’s 13-year-old classmate, Jökull Jónsson, has been involved in the school strikes for climate from the beginning, and expressed a certain amount of pessimism about the future, although he did have specific ideas about ways in which Iceland could meaningfully address climate change issues.

“Really, we just need to reduce our carbon footprint as much as possible and try to be environmentally friendly.”


Icelandic Youth Take Part In Global Youth Climate Strike

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1580749235496{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]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.[/vc_column_text][mk_image src=”” image_size=”large”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1552659462183{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]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.[/vc_column_text][mk_image src=”” image_size=”large”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1552672004998{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]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.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][mk_image src=”” image_size=”large”][/vc_column][/vc_row]