TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Close to a thousand students from the Tucson area walked out of school Friday, Sept. 20, to participate in the worldwide climate strikes.
The students attended an afternoon rally at El Presidio Park in downtown Tucson. By 4:30 p.m., the student crowd gave way to a group of older activists.
The action in the Old Pueblo was part of a series of planned climate strikes, with thousands of youths walking out of class in the United States and around the globe. Some plan to strike again on Sept. 27.
In the next week, there will also be climate summits, climate debates, a dire climate science report, climate pledges by countries and businesses, promises of climate financial help and more between now and next Friday.
The centerpiece is the U.N. climate summit, called by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. The U.N. chief said he will be pressuring countries to promise to reduce carbon pollution even more than they did in the landmark 2015 Paris climate agreement. These next steps weren’t due until 2020, but Guterres wants them earlier and he wants them to be harsher. Essentially, he’s hoping that by midcentury the world will be adding no more heat-trapping gases to Earth’s atmosphere.
Hundreds of businesses, cities, states and organizations will also be at the meeting to pledge their own pollution cuts and offer financial help to poorer nations trying to shift from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources. He said the idea is to come out of the summit, not with all problems solved "but with enhanced momentum."