Philly youth join international movement demanding climate action from government officials

climate strike
Photo credit Matt Coughlin/KYW Newsradio

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Local activists joined an international movement Friday calling for an end to fossil fuel use.

“There’s over 650 strikes happening today all around the world and we are youth that are demanding climate action from our government officials so we are all striking from school and from work,” said Noa Fohrer, co-founder of the Philadelphia Chapter of Fridays for Future, who led a march for Global Climate Strike Day from City Hall to the PECO building at 2400 Market Street.

Fohrer added that the majority of energy PECO is providing is from fossil fuels which, when burned, release nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere, as explained by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Fohrer says “the system” takes advantage of impoverished areas, like parts of Chester, where she says fossil fuel plants pollute the air.

“We don’t see how a company that is providing … majority fossil fuels and non-renewable energy … we don’t understand how we can reach carbon neutral.”

PECO expressed solidarity with the protest, pointing to plans to reduce carbon emissions 50% by 2030 and achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. In addition to committing to reducing operational emissions, PECO pointed to efforts made to work with customers and communities to install solar energy, efficient systems and Electric Vehicle charging stations to achieve “a clean energy future.”

Approximately 250 protests were held in Germany, including one in which thousands of people gathered at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin and marched in a long procession through the city’s government district.

And in Jakarta, Indonesia, protesters held signs calling for an end to dirty fuels and greenwashing as police officers looked on.

According to the United Nations, fossil fuels are the largest contributor to global climate change, accounting for over 75% of global greenhouse gas emissions and nearly 90% of all carbon dioxide emissions.

Since 2015, global temperatures have risen two degrees.

And, more recently, climate change is being blamed for the storm that caused flooding in the Libyan city of Derna this week that claimed more than 11,000 lives and left more than 10,000 missing.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Matt Coughlin/KYW Newsradio