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© Natta Summerky/SOI Foundation
Students fighting for climate action
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Fridays for Future

Iluuna Sorensen was ten when her mother showed her a documentary about climate change, and it made a big impact. Inspired by Greta Thunberg, Iluuna started Fridays for Future climate strikes in her hometown of Nuuk, Greenland.

“We have to do something now. Or we may not have a future. The solutions are out there, and we should be using them," Iluuna said during an interview with the WWF Arctic Programme.

Fridays for Future was started by Greta Thunberg a Swedish activist. In 2018, when Greta was 15, she started protesting by herself every Friday outside the Swedish parliament to push for climate action. Since then, Fridays for Future has become a global movement, inspiring students like Iluuna and others around the world to fight for climate action.

© Fanni Barocsi/WWF

“Even if you’re not a teacher, or a scientist you can still a make a difference and Greta showed us that. For Fridays for Future, I made a page on Instagram and arranged a get together. They’ve created such a large network,” Iluuna said.

“Someone contacted me from Brussels who wanted to organize their own Fridays for Future protest and I helped. It ended up being picked up by media,” she explained.

The student network is now global, and they work together to motivate others to join.

© Martin Lipman/SOI Foundation

Students on Ice

Students in the Arctic

Students on Ice is one way youth around the world are learning about climate change and the importance of the Arctic. The program takes youth on expeditions around the Arctic. WWF is a partner of the program and regularly helps sponsor participants.

Music: « Ukulele » from Bensound.com

Iluuna was joined on this year’s trip by Nuiana Hardenberg and 131 other high school and university students. Both students are from Nuuk, Greenland’s capital. They wanted to go on the expedition to see their home from a different perspective and witness the broader impacts of climate change in person.

“Experiencing this type of stuff online is not as impactful, you can’t gain the same insights second-hand. Statistics just don’t have the same impact,” said Nuiana.

Nuiana felt the urgency for climate action after the 2017 tsunami that swept away 11 homes and killed four people in the fishing village of Nuugaatsiaq, Greenland. The tsunami was caused by a landslide in the Karrat Fjord on the west coast. The landslide shattered chunks of a glacier causing the tsunami. As calving glaciers become more common, they will likely trigger more of these types of tsunamis.

© Fanni Barocsi/WWF

Nuiana strongly feels that small lifestyle changes can make a difference.

I have a re-usable straw and I have convinced others to get one as well. I’m working hard to try and make my school more sustainable. For example, I convinced my school to use glass instead of plastic for milk. I think these small changes accumulated make a difference.

© Fanni Barocsi/WWF

Shelton Nipisar, from Arviat, Nunavut also attended Students on Ice this year. As a strong Inuk speaker, he wants to fight to keep his language and heritage alive.

“We have traditions that are passed down from generation to generation. My grandparents used to live off the land. And when I got older, I realized we have to do something about climate change because we don’t live like that anymore. Not with the land.”

The Arctic

The Arctic is warming faster than any other region on earth. Scientists expect summer sea ice in the Arctic Ocean will be largely gone within the next 10 years. Imagining the Arctic without ice is abstract for many but it is a terrifying reality for those who depend on it to survive. WWF is working throughout the Arctic to tackle climate change and help wildlife and people survive and thrive into the future.

The time for climate action is now. Fridays for Future is a global movement where students around the world are protesting for climate action every Friday. But they can’t do it alone and want the world to join their cause. On September 20 and 27, millions of others will join them.

What can you do?

  • Millions will join Fridays for Future this September. Look for marches near you on September 20 and 27.
  • Look for alternative methods of transportation. Go car free by walking, biking or taking public transport. If you can, avoid taking planes.
  • Become a flexitarian and cut down on your consumption of meat. Even if you cut your meat consumption by half you can reduce your diet’s carbon footprint by 40%!
  • Consider trying to offset your emissions. Look for a trusted project that you can contribute to. For example, you could get involved with a WWF project.