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How to Celebrate Climate Week: The Global Climate Strike + Free Events Around NYC

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Every fall for several decades, the United Nations General Assembly has met at the UN Headquarters in New York City, bringing together representatives from every country to discuss global matters relating to the climate, security, peace, economics, and more. Coinciding with the General Assembly is the UN Climate Action Summit, from Sept. 21 to 23; and right after that, there’s Climate Week NYC, a weeklong series of climate-themed events all over NYC from Sept. 23 to 29, hosted by The Climate Group. And if you're a climate nerd like me, you may be wondering how you can participate. 

The climate crisis is a mounting issue, and it’s expected to be addressed at the General Assembly — but for those of us who did not get invitations to the UN’s Headquarters, luckily, there are plenty of other ways to get involved in Climate Week this year. The Climate Week NYC website is filled with dozens of events being hosted during, before, and after Climate Week this September. To make it easier, we compiled a list of free events that sound particularly fun and interesting — all of which are in NYC, except for the Global Climate Strike, which will happen all over the globe.

Read on for eight ways to participate in Climate Week.

Global Climate Strike

Every Friday for more than a year now, 16-year-old Greta Thunberg has been skipping school and striking outside the Swedish Parliament building (or wherever she is in the world) in protest of the government’s lack of action to protect the climate. Many other students around the world have joined her fight, which has become known as the Fridays for Future movement. 

Coinciding with Climate Week, the movement is hosting the Global Climate Strike, which will be the biggest international strike yet, with strikes happening in hundreds of locations all over the planet. People of all ages (not just students) are being encouraged to attend to help boost the turnout, which will show world leaders how seriously we are taking this issue.

Azalea Danes, a student at the Bronx High School of Science in NYC, is one of the organizers of the NYC strike on Sept. 20. She tells Green Matters in an email:

"The September 20th youth-led school climate strike is an intergenerational one, and will consist of a march to a rally where speakers and musical performances will be drawing the focus to the urgency of the climate crisis, prioritizing those already impacted by climate change. This strike will serve as a catalyst for future climate mobilization, and we expect the climate justice movement to grow in terms of participants and media attention from the magnitude of the strike."

The student-focused strike will take place on Friday, Sept. 20, but and the general strike will be on Friday, Sept. 27.