Environmental Activists held the third annual Climate Walk and demonstration in Reykjavík on Saturday. Per the press release, organizers hoped to draw attention to climate change issues and also compel the government to take meaningful steps to address them.
“We have one simple demand,” read the press release. “[T]hat effective action be taken immediately to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” Organizers assert that the government must lead the way in these efforts, for without strong state leadership, “...it’s difficult for municipalities, businesses, community organizations, and individuals to do their part.”
The first Climate Walk in 2014 was held as part of the global Peoples' Climate March, during which 2,700 similar demonstrations took place on the same weekend in 160 countries. Three hundred people attended that year in Iceland. Another event was organized the next year, in 2015.
Although an exact headcount wasn’t taken at this year’s Climate Walk in Reykjavík, co-organizer Hildur Knútsdóttir estimated that around 200 people participated. The event was also once again part of a global demonstration on climate issues. According to The Independent, hundreds of thousands of protesters gathered at 850 events in 90 countries—on all seven continents. “In Sydney, Australia, they sailed a ship along the harbour flying banners with their message. In Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, youth groups organised flash mobs to raise awareness.” In the mining town of Durham in the UK, the article continues, “...activists locked themselves onto mining machinery in a bid to close a pit for the day...Support has even come from Antarctica, where the astrobiologist Cyprien Verseux has pictured himself holding up a banner featuring the day’s official moniker, Rise for Climate.”
As it happens, Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir announced on Sunday that the new state budget that will be introduced early this coming week will, in fact, prioritize funding for climate issues among its other primary concerns, such as tax reform and improvements to the healthcare system RÚV reports. “We’re going to see a lot of progressiveness on climate issues,” she stated. “The government is going to present measures on climate issues and, of course, we’re going to have to look at a completely transformed system. We want to see systemic changes [when it comes to] climate issues.”