Serbia’s first Fridays for Future climate change protest was held in Belgrade on April 5. The global Fridays for Future protests were inspired by the now 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, who in 2018 held what she called a school strike for climate for three weeks outside the Swedish parliament, demanding CO2 emission cuts in accordance with the Paris Agreement. She then resumed the strike on Fridays.
The Fridays for Future global climate protests have so far spread to more than 130 countries, and the first one held in Serbia gathered dozens of young participants to send messages about the main causes of climate change. The protesters included high school students, as well as younger participants, who were accompanied by parents.
The gathering started with a reading of Greta Thunberg’s text urging climate action and an end of fossil fuels, followed by an address by Vladimir Đurđević, PhD, a professor at the Faculty of Physics, University of Belgrade. Đurđević, a leading climatologist in Serbia, told the young protesters theirs was the best gathering he had ever been to.
Đurđević recalled that global warming continues, with temperatures constantly rising, leading to warmer and warmer summers and hotter and hotter heatwaves, resulting in water scarcity and worsening droughts, all leading to a scarcity of food. He warned that these problems will only worsen in the future.
“The problem we are making so bad today will only become fully visible in the future, and if we don’t help young people today secure a better future, a large part of the blame will fall on us, especially because we have known for decades what is happening to us and what will happen to us,” Đurđević said.
There is some good news though, he said, noting that more and more wind energy facilities are being built and an increasing number of coal power plants shut down. However, progress is slow and needs to be accelerated and decision-makers – those deciding how energy will be produced and how much the planet is to be protected – should be encouraged to be more decisive and responsible, he said.
Greta Thunberg nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
Three Norwegian MPs have nominated Greta Thunberg for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.
“We have proposed Greta Thunberg because if we do nothing to halt climate change, it will be the cause of wars, conflict and refugees,” Norwegian Socialist MP Freddy Andre Ovstegard told AFP, the BBC reported.
There are 301 candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize for 2019 out of which 223 are individuals and 78 are organizations.