Merida, Yucatan (Mexico) – September 20, 2019
There is a perception that with age comes wisdom, and yet, when it comes to confronting the greatest crisis facing humanity today, it is the young people who are bringing the moral clarity and sense of urgency that is so desperately needed.
We have known about the climate crisis for decades. Yet, year after year, we have failed to begin the transition to the safe, clean and renewable energy that must power this century. Instead, our leaders have insisted on expanding into more oil, gas and coal with no meaningful plan for bringing our dependence on these planet-damaging fuel sources to an end.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change states that we have little over a decade to transform our energy systems. Some recent studies suggest it is even less. Everywhere we turn there are signs of catastrophe: the Amazon in flames, a million plant and animal species at risk of extinction, lives and livelihoods lost in unprecedented droughts, floods, and heatwaves – and the tragic conflict that often follows.
Our words, demands, and letters seem unlikely to change the world. But the momentum of the youth climate strike can. We have largely failed as the guardians of the planet. And while we are deeply disappointed to have come to this, we are enormously thankful that our generation of leaders has met its match in the faces of our children and grandchildren.
The time for rhetoric and inadequate action has ended. We no longer have the luxury of small steps in the right direction.
As Nobel Laureates from many disciplines and walks of life, we stand in unwavering solidarity with the Global Climate Strike taking place from September 20 to 27 – and with the countless young people around the world who are courageously demanding action.
We call on world leaders at the United Nations Secretary General’s Global Climate Action Summit to listen, and respond.
We join in the call to end the age of fossil fuels and demand climate justice for everyone.
International Peace Bureau, 1910
International Friends Service Committee, 1947
Amnesty International, 1977
Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, 1980
Lech Wałęsa, 1983
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, 1985
Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo, 1986
Rigoberta Menchu Tum, 1992
Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, 1995
Jody Williams, 1997
International Campaign to Ban Landmines, 1997
Shirin Ebadi, 2003
Muhammad Yunus, 2006
Leymah Gbowee, 2011
Tawakkol Karman, 2011
Kailash Satyarthi, 2014
International Campaign Against Nuclear War, 2017