LOS ANGELES—As wildfires rage across much of California, young climate change activists rallied in the streets of downtown Los Angeles on Friday. Clouds of thick gray smoke were visible in the distance from the Getty Fire that has burned 745 acres of land so far, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.
Student activists and supporters of the youth climate movement held posters with slogans like “The Earth shouldn’t be hotter than Idris Elba” and “Do Something” in protest to the state and federal government’s inaction to climate change.
Swedish climate activist, Greta Thunberg, is the 16-year-old leader of the movement known as #FridaysForFuture. According to the LA Times, Thunberg joined an estimated 3,000 people in downtown LA to march for the future of the planet. This is the most recent climate rally in LA since the Global Climate Strike in September.
Thunberg famously traveled across the Atlantic from Sweden on a zero-emissions sailboat to the U.S. for the United Nations climate conference in New York City. Even with the viral attention cast on her attendance at the conference, world leaders failed to create new climate proposals that would eliminate dangerous emissions. Thunberg refuses to let her efforts perish.
In California, former Gov. Jerry Brown proposed the last climate change legislation in 2017 with Assembly Bill 617 and Assembly Bill 398. Both bills include extensions and improvements to the cap-and-trade program, which requires companies to buy permits to release greenhouse gas emissions.
However, the transportation sector continues to contribute the largest percentage of emissions, accounting for almost 40 percent of California’s total greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. Car-free lifestyles have become more popular, and biking events such as CicLAvia help promote the use of more sustainable transportation in LA.
Infographic created via Infogram.com
To better track greenhouse gas emissions, Gov. Gavin Newsom plans to partner with Bloomberg Philanthropies, founded by former New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, to collect and analyze data from coal plants and other fossil fuel culprits, according to a statement released by the organization in September.
Newsom attended the U.N. climate summit in NYC to reiterate California’s climate stance stating, “This is all about application. This is all about implementation.”
The #FridaysForFuture student strikes will continue as long as policymakers and world leaders remain complacent explained Thunberg.
Thunberg left Los Angeles over the weekend to continue her global fight for climate action. The next climate change strike is set for Friday, December 6.
To find out how to get involved, go to Fridays For Future.