By Amanda Costa

The grown-ups have failed. They have failed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and have failed to contain global warming. In this catastrophic scenario, adolescents and young people from 123 countries decided to act.

On March 15, 2019, students from Asia, Africa, Europe, North America and South America took to the streets on strike, in a political act against the theft of the future. How do our governing authorities have the nerve to ask us to go to school while we do not have the security of having climate justice and inter-generational equity?

This bold narrative has gained strength with Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old adolescent who had an impact on the Swedish government by refusing to go to school every Friday in order to protest in front of the Swedish Parliament. The reason for her complaint is the slowness of governments to adopt real measures to curb climate change. According to Greta, it makes no sense into putting so much effort into studying if there is no guarantee of being able to go to university, to have a job, or even a future.

“Young people make up more than half of the global population. Our generation grew up with the climate crisis and we will have to deal with it for the rest of our lives. Despite that fact, most of us are not included in the local and global decision-making process. We will no longer accept this injustice. We have the right to live our dreams and hopes.” (Greta Thunberg, Youth for Climate, 2019)

After the 24th UN Climate Change Conference, Greta gained prominence in the international community. She made an impact on the civil society, members of the government and large organizations with her simple, truthful and provocative speech. Since then, she has been leading the global movement FRIDAY FOR FUTURE , which is intended to awaken the sense of urgency in relation to the danger of climate change and to pressurize decision makers to look more strongly at the environmental agenda.

Photo: Marcio Isensee e Sá / O Eco

In Brazil, the movement is still in its early stages, which is the result of a defective and precarious basic education. However, news travels fast in a globalized world. Young leaders are emerging across all the country, and they are aware that specific actions are fundamental to reduce the human activities that accelerate global warming. In this scenario, on March 15, 2019, climate activists were on the streets of several Brazilian states to protest against the conformist attitude of politicians, and to demand sensitivity and urgency in relation to the issue.

In São Paulo, the young persons succeeded in drawing attention to the cause! With posters and rehearsed chants, the activists held a political act and demanded answers from the governing authorities. In this regard, it is necessary to make the population look deeper at climate change, with the objective of showing civil society the importance of this global challenge.

In so far as our representatives were omitted from the issue, climate leaders are emerging across all the country. In all seriousness (and with a little bit of fun), we are changing the reality, by transforming a complex subject into something challenging. We want rapid actions and we will not be manipulated! This change cannot be restricted to the millennial generation. It needs to spread to all society. We are frightened, anxious, have butterflies in the stomach, and we are in a hurry. WE ARE IN A GREAT HURRY. We know about the urgency and we want solutions. We are willing to change our habits, change our posture, call our representatives to account, and save our world.


Amanda Costa is a student of International Relations and an organizer for the NGO Engajamundo, in which she coordinates the working group of the SDGs . She has extensive experience with project planning, the outreach of teams and scientific research, which are characteristics obtained through the leadership of social activities and her engagement with research centers. Her field of operation is aimed at sustainable development and climate change, and she is considered an international level youth leader.

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