World, Environment

Climate strikes, environmental protests in January 2020

Strikes, demonstrations and protests grip world entering 2020s as environment, climate change awareness tightens

Burak Bir  | 01.02.2020 - Update : 01.02.2020
Climate strikes, environmental protests in January 2020


Entering the 2020s, people across the world are staging strikes, demonstrations and protests calling for action against human-made climate change and damage to the environment.

In only the decade's first month, activists and concerned citizens alike held new events at an average every other day across a myriad of countries.

These include the Fridays for Future protests sparked by 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg, a hunger strike in Canada against university funding for fossil fuels and an elephant-borne march in Thailand by school students following the damage caused by ravaging bushfires in Australia.

Jan. 3:

- The first climate strike of 2020 was led by the Fridays for Future movement, taking place across the globe from Uganda to Australia, with students not attending school for one day a week to raise awareness on the effects of climate change.

Jan. 6:

- A group of students at the University of British Colombia in Canada, ranging in age from 19 to 23, launched a hunger strike demanding their university divest from fossil fuels.

Jan. 10:

- After a call from activist environmental group Extinction Rebellion, people around the world protested at Australian diplomatic missions to push Canberra to declare a "climate emergency" over the raging deadly bushfires.

- Thousands rallied in Sydney, Australia over the deadly bushfires and demanded further steps to tackle the fires as well as climate change.

- Students in the Kenema province of Sierra Leone gathered for their first school strike for the climate as part of the Fridays For Future organization.

Jan. 12:

- A troupe of elephants and school students held a silent march at an elephant camp in Thailand to raise awareness for the millions of animals killed in Australia's raging bushfires.

Jan. 14:

- Climate activists in Switzerland dumped coal inside a branch of the UBS Group to protest the bank's funding of fossil fuel projects.

Jan. 15:

- Harvard law students shut down a recruitment reception of Paul Weiss, a law firm representing ExxonMobil in climate lawsuits, in the hopes of opening a new front in climate activism.

- Hundreds of protesters wearing white masks held the streets in Tuzla, a town in Bosnia and Herzegovina, to call for governmental action on air pollution in the region.

Jan. 16:

- Extinction Rebellion demonstrators blocked entrances to Shell's headquarters in Aberdeen, Scotland in solidarity with Nigerians they said were suffering from the company's actions in the country.

Jan. 17:

- Despite reactions, a 17-year-old climate activist Theo Cullen-Mouze hit his 20th week of Friday school strikes alongside only his sister in Ireland's Clare Island.

Jan. 18:

- Extinction Rebellion Belgium organized a mass action of civil disobedience at the AutoSalon 2020, hanging a banner outside of the salon, spraying slogans on its walls and splashing fake blood on cars. Police arrested 185 protesters.

- Bill McKibben, environmentalist and co-founder of the climate advocate group 350, was jailed along with other activists in Washington during a test run of an upcoming national protest targeting financial institutions that invest in fossil fuels.

Jan. 21:

- Hundreds of activists protested for urgent action on climate change in Davos, Switzerland, where world political and corporate heavyweights had gathered for the annual World Economic Forum.

Jan. 22:

- Dozens of indigenous demonstrators in Canada protested a proposed oil sands mine project in northern Alberta.

Jan. 24:

- Greta Thunberg reached her 75th week of striking school in Davos along with fellow young climate activists.

Jan. 26:

- Hundreds of Amazon employees protested the company's communication policy by signing an online blog post accusing the firm of failing to meet its "moral responsibility" in climate change.

- U.S. activists for climate action marched along the George Washington Bridge from New York City to New Jersey.

Jan. 30:

- A group of demonstrators at the 15th annual South African Coal Conference in the capital Cape Town protested fossil fuels with the slogan, coal kills.

Jan. 31:

- Eight-year-old climate activist Licypriya Kangujan, the 2019 World Children Peace Prize Laureate and founder of The Child Movement held the last Friday school strike of the month outside of the Gujarat State Assembly House in Gandhinagar, India.

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