Global Climate Strike: Meet the teenagers skipping school to fight for a greener planet

Story highlights

Strikes are planned in almost 1700 towns and cities in over 100 countries

Youth activists tell CNN that adults are passing the burden of climate change to future generations

"We need to be listened to and we have no intention of giving up until our demands are met," a UK schoolgirl tells CNN

CNN  — 

Adults have failed. Failed to slash emissions and failed to curb global warming – that is the view of hundreds of thousands of students who will protest climate inaction this Friday, by taking part in the Global Climate Strike.

Inspired by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg’s weekly protests, the global youth climate movement has swept the globe, with students organizing strikes on every continent.

Meet 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg

Now, students are putting their collective voices together in a coordinated global school walkout, called Youth Strike 4 Climate. So far, strikes are planned in almost 1,700 towns and cities in over 100 different countries.

Five youth activists tell CNN about their motivations and hopes for the future.

Toby Thorpe, 17, Australia

17-year-old Toby Thorpe has organized a strike in Tasmania because he wants future generations to enjoy the island's natural beauty.

“I’m very lucky to come from a place like this and that’s why I became an activist,” says Toby Thorpe.

Thorpe grew up in the Huon Valley in the far south of Tasmania. He is helping to organize the strike in Tasmania’s capital - Hobart - because he wants to ensure that future generations will experience the island’s natural beauty and clean air.

“The reality of climate change really impacted my community this year, when bushfires ravaged the Huon Valley, and burned over 200,000 hectares of wilderness across the state” he says.

In other parts of the country, floods and tropical storms are wreaking havoc. “These disasters are increasing in frequency and intensity, and all the science points to climate change,” says Thorpe.