15 March 2019

ICLEI Members speak out in support of global climate strike

Frustrated by the pace at which governments world-wide are tackling climate change, young people from around the world will strike today in a Global Climate Strike for the Future.

Inspired by the youth’s call to action, ICLEI alongside other city networks, will join the strike in Brussels (Belgium).

The members of the ICLEI European Regional Executive Committee have spoken out in support of the strike:

‘With today's strike, the youth are sending a powerful message: the time for talking is over - now is the time to act to avoid the worst consequences of climate change. Freiburg supports this climate strike and will continue to implement ambitious climate measures to safeguard future generations’ said Martin Horn, Lord Mayor of Freiburg (Germany).

Dario Nardella, Mayor of Florence (Italy) added ‘the message of the IPCC report is very clear – we have 12 years to avoid a climate catastrophe. The youth have heard this message and are demanding that politicians hear it too. They are calling for immediate action to save this planet. I support this climate march and urge local leaders to take their message to heart.’

‘For too long we have prioritized short term wants to the detriment of our planet. It is our children who will face the starkest consequences of our actions, and they are rightly demanding that we change our ways. It is up to us as local leaders to take immediate action to avoid the worst effects of climate change’ said Adam Zawada, Deputy Mayor of Wrocław (Poland).

'As local leaders, we must not only listen to the youth, but truly hear their message. We cannot continue to allow inconvenient facts to be ignored for political reasons. We must show our future generations that science matters and that their elected representatives will design policy based on information from the scientific community. Climate change is a crisis that needs immediate action. As the governmental level closest to the people we have a duty to make meaningful, visible, and rapid change. I commend the youth taking action today – local leaders hear your voice,' added Anna-Kaisa Heinämäki, Deputy Mayor of Tampere (Finland).

‘To protect generations to come, we must transition to a carbon-neutral future by 2030. This means that governments across Europe need to raise their climate ambitions in the short term. We cannot pass the burden of action to the youth – the time for us to make a change is now’ said Cheryl Jones Fur, Deputy Mayor of Växjö (Sweden).

Their words were echoed by Mayor of Tirana (Albania), Erion Veliaj, a long time advocate for the involvement of youth and children in urban sustainability policies. He provided a video message in support of the strike.