Fridays for Future rallies in Italy to highlight climate crisis ahead of election

Activists say climate crisis debate has been largely absent in Italy ahead of election.

The Italian branch of Fridays for Future plans to hold marches in 70 Italian cities on Friday, coinciding with the last day of campaigning ahead of the nation's general election on Sunday.

Fridays for Future Italia claims that politicians have largely ignored the climate crisis during the election campaign, despite recent extreme weather events in Italy including a prolonged drought followed by flash floods that led to the deaths of at least 11 people in the Marche region last week.

Appealing for people to join the demonstrations on 23 September, FFF Italia said in a tweet that Italy faced the "umpteenth elections in which almost all politics is divided between those who ignore the climate crisis and those who pretend to face up to it."

FFF Italia spokesperson Agnese Casadei said that the aim of the protest is to put "the climate crisis and the solutions needed to address it" back into the public eye, reports newspaper La Repubblica.

"The chance of averting a catastrophic rise in temperatures depends on the next five years, and we risk wasting them with a parliament that does not see the climate issue as a priority" - said Agnese - "We cannot allow this to happen. Politicians must realise that ignoring this problem is not an option if they want to obtain the support of citizens."

The School Strike for Climate, also known as Fridays For Future, is a youth-led movement of school students who swap classes for demonstrations to demand action to prevent further global warming, including the abandonment of fossil energy sources and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to zero.

The movement began in August 2018 by Greta Thunberg, the 19-year-old Swedish climate change activist who during the United Nations climate summit in 2019 warned leaders: "If you choose to fail us we will never forgive you."

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