Protests Sweep Bangladesh as Youth Demand an End to Fossil Fuels

Hundreds of thousands of people around the world are taking to the streets to demand action from world leaders to address the climate crisis. In Bangladesh, the youth have also expressed solidarity with the global movement. On March 3, 2023, Smile for All SFA, Activista Bangladesh, and Youth Climate Action Hub organized and led protests at various locations in Dhaka, Kushtia, and Daulatpur.

The protests were held under the banner of #TomorrowIsTooLate, highlighting the urgency of taking action to combat climate change. The youth demanded a ban on fossil fuels as a solution to the climate problem. In Daulatpur upazila, Custier highlighted climate issues in flood-affected areas of Padma river, holding placards to make their point.

Prior to the strike, a list of policy demands was prepared, calling for action on climate change. Al Bukhari Anik, president of Smile for All SFA, emphasized the need to pay more attention to the huge carbon emissions of developed countries. He stated, “There is no more time to listen to the false promises of world leaders. We must work to offset these emissions.”

The speakers also emphasized that Bangladesh is one of the country’s most at risk due to the effects of climate change. Climate change is making the future bleak, with the Himalayan glaciers melting due to global warming, leading to rising sea levels and an increased risk of deadly disasters. Bangladesh is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, such as floods, cyclones, droughts, extreme rains, river erosion, and soil salinity.

In Kushtia city, members of SFA and over a hundred students from Rabindra Moitree University participated in the global climate strike. Khalid, a climate warrior on strike, said, “Climate change is threatening the lives of Bangladesh and the future generations of the world today. We need to increase our investment in renewable energy. As for pollution in the developed world, we suffer so we have to compensate. We also need to reduce the use of polythene in our daily lives and look for alternative sources. Our young generation should join in protecting the environment.”

The youth of Bangladesh have added their voice to the global movement calling for immediate action to address the climate crisis, end fossil finance.

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