According to foreign media, “climate strike” was named the 2019 word of the year by the Collins Dictionary. Collins lexicographers have found that the word has been used 100 times more frequently this year than last year. Over the past year, there have been a number of large-scale climate protests around the world.
In addition, according to Collins, the term “climate strike” originated at the 2015 climate conference in France, when world leaders adopted the Paris Climate Agreement.
Around this time last year, a team of scientists convened by the United Nations published a report that found that the world has 12 years left (now 11) to significantly reduce fossil fuel use in order to avoid the worst catastrophic effects of climate change.
In March, more than 120 countries went on strike, and on the same day about 1.6 million students walked out of their classrooms.
One of the heroines behind the climate strike is Greta Thunberg, now 16, who has been protesting weekly outside the Swedish parliament since 2018. That puts her in the spotlight after rumours that she would be a candidate for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. In the end, though, she didn’t win the award, but she announced this year’s word of the year, “Climate Strike,” on Twitter.
In September, just before the United Nations summit in New York, protests erupted again around the world. While tech workers from giants such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft walked out of office buildings to support the protests, CEOs such as Jeff Bezos announced new commitments to make the company’s business more sustainable.
The following month, hundreds of activists were arrested in what they called a “global climate rebellion.” Extinction Rebellion, a BRITISH-based organization, is now in major cities across the country.
It is clear that this year’s climate strike is not over, and the annual UN climate conference will be held in Madrid in December. A new round of climate strikes is expected.