Students Demanding Climate Action | Earth Day Network

By Aili Maruyama

For the past few weeks, youth around the world have been speaking up, and they are loud. Children have been skipping school around Europe to strike against climate change and march for our earth. It’s amazing to see how everybody is waking up, especially the younger generation. I am inspired.

The politicians have been skipping their homework, year after year. If students get penalized for not doing their homework, so should they. We were told to take responsibility for our own actions, day after day. But our leaders have failed to apply this principal to themselves. And then, there was Greta Thunberg, the girl who woke us up and called for action. Greta has inspired me and others to take action. We can no longer sit quietly and wait for our elected officials to make the right decisions about climate change. We must demand change. Now. Today.

We had the honor to welcome Greta to our city, Antwerp, last week — and we marched together. It gives me so much hope, given the indifference and the lack of responsibility of our government. Things are moving. We don’t take no for an answer anymore. We want fair and socially responsible climate policies. Until there is massive landmark legislation that protects our planet and our future, we will keep fighting.

Earth Day Network played a huge role in teaching me how to fight against climate change and my perceptions on global warming. I hope young Americans march with us.


Aili Maruyama is a former Earth Day Network intern