Starting Friday September 20, at the request of the young people who’ve been staging school strikes around the world, we’re walking out of our workplaces and homes to spend the day demanding action on climate change, the great existential threat that all of us face. It’s a one-day climate strike, if you will—and it will not be the last. This is going to be the beginning of a week of climate action all over the world. And we hope to make it a turning point in history.

We hope others will join us: that people will leave their offices, their farms, their factories; that candidates will step off the campaign trail and football stars off the pitch; that movie actors will scrub off their makeup and teachers lay down their chalk; that cooks will close their restaurants and bring meals to protests; that pensioners too will break their daily routines and join in sending the one message our leaders must hear: Day by day, business as usual is creating an ecological crisis that is destroying the chance for a healthy, safe future on our planet.

We are well aware that, by itself, this strike and the week of international climate action won’t change the course of events. The good news is that we have the technologies we need—the price of a solar panel has plunged 90 percent in the last decade. And we know the policies to make them work: all across the planet some version of a Green New Deal has been proposed, laws that would speedily replace fossil fuels with the power of sun and wind, along the way providing good jobs and stabilizing strong local economies and support the long term health of communities that have been largely ignored. We salute the people—many of them young–working hard to pass those measures against the entrenched opposition of the fossil fuel industry.

This day of global action is designed to support those people. We hope all kinds of environmental, public health, social justice, and development groups will join in, but our greatest hope is simply to show that those working on this crisis and those who have already been the most heavily impacted have the backing of millions of human beings who harbor a growing dread about our environmental plight but who have so far stayed mostly on the sidelines. It may take a few go-rounds to get those kind of numbers in the streets, but we don’t have too long: our window for effective climate action is closing fast.

We know not everyone can join us—on a grossly unequal planet, some people literally can’t do without a single day’s pay, or labor for bosses who would fire them if they dared try. And some jobs simply can’t stop: emergency room doctors should keep at their tasks. But many of us can put off for 24 hours our usual day to day routine, confident it will be there when we return. We hope some people will spend the day in protest: against new pipelines, or the banks that fund them; against the oil companies and the politicians that spread their lies. We hope others will spend the day putting insulation in the walls of their neighbor’s homes, or building bike paths. We hope everyone will take at least a few minutes in a city park or a farm field or on the roof of their apartment to simply soak in the beauty of the world it’s our privilege to protect.

Obviously this is a lot to ask: a day in the life of the world is a big deal, and all of us are used to our routines. But we’re not comfortable letting school children carry all the weight here—they need our backing. And disrupting our normal lives seems key—it’s normal life that is doing us in, the fact that we rise each morning and do pretty much the same things we did the day before, even amidst an unfolding crisis.

We are the people who happen to be alive at the moment when our choices will determine the future for tens of thousands of years: how high the seas will rise, how far the deserts will spread, how fast the forests will burn. Part of our work must be to protect the future.

Sign up here

Margaret Atwood, writer, Canada

Geneviève Azam, economist, Attac, France

Tom Ballard, comedian, Australia

Fadel Barro, Y’En A Marre, Sénégal

Nnimmo Bassey, HOMEF, Nigeria

May Boeve, executive director,, USA

Patrick Bond, Distinguished Professor of Political Economy, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Michael Brune, executive director, Sierra Club, USA

Nicola Bullard, climate justice activist, France/Australia

Sharan Burrow, general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, Australia

Valérie Cabanes, writer and lawyer, France

Rachel Carmona, COO, Women’s March, USA

Dr. Craig Challen, former Australian of the year, cave explorer, vet, Australia

Keya Chatterjee, author and activist, USA

Noam Chomsky, linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, political activist, and social critic, USA

Maxime Combes, economist, Attac, France

Thomas Coutrot, economist, Attac, France

Cyril Dion, writer, movie director, France

Tasneem Essop, interim executive director, CAN International, South Africa

Christiana Figueres, former executive director of the UNFCCC, Costa Rica

Tim Flannery, climate scientist, Australia

Nancy Fraser, critical theorist, feminist, professor of social sciences and philosophy, USA

Anna Galland, executive director, USA

KC Golden, board chair, USA

Tom BK Goldtooth, executive director Indigenous Environmental Network, USA

Maggie Gyllenhaal, actress, USA

Émilie Hache, philosopher, France

Katharine Hayhoe, climate scientist Texas Tech, USA

Dr John Hewson, former Liberal Party leader & economist, Australia

John Holloway, sociologist and philosopher, Ireland

Lesley Hughes, climate scientist, director of WWF Australia

Tomás Insua, executive director of Global Catholic Climate Movement, Argentina

Jon Isham, professor of economics Middlebury College, USA

Bhavreen Malhotra Kandhari, Environmental Activist, India

Satvir Kaur, EcoSikh, India

Puneeta Chadha Khanna, Hospitality Consultant and concerned citizen and mom, India

Barbara Kingsolver, author, USA

Naomi Klein, journalist, Canada

Peter Knowlton, General President, United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE), USA

Massa Koné, lawyer, spokes of the global convergence of struggles for water and land for Western Africa (CGLTE -OA), Mali

Winona LaDuke, executive director Honor the Earth, USA

Jenni Laiti, artivist, Sápmi

Bruno Latour, professor of philosophy, France

Judith LeBlanc, director, Native Organizers Alliance, USA

Annie Leonard, executive director, Greenpeace USA

Judith LeBlanc, Director of Native Organizers Alliance, USA

Michael Mann, climatologist and geophysicist, USA

Gina McCarthy, environmental health and air quality expert, former Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, USA

Heather McGhee, distinguished senior fellow and former president of Demos, USA

Bill McKibben, Author, Educator, Environmentalist and Founder of, USA

Luca Mercalli, President of the Italian Meteorological Society and scientific journalist, Italy

Moema Miranda, environmental activist, Brazil

George Monbiot, journaliste, UK

Jennifer Morgan, executive director Greenpeace International, USA

Tadzio Müller, climate justice activist, Germany

Kumi Naidoo, secretary general Amnesty International

Mohamed Nasheed, former president of the Maldives

Pennie Opal Plant, Co-founder of Movement Rights & Idle No More SF Bay

Ricken Patel, founder and CEO Avaaz, Canada

Carlo Petrini, President of Slow Food, Italy

Dr Anne Poelina, Traditional Custodian from the Mardoowarra, lower Fitzroy River, in Western Australia

Ai-Jen Poo, National Domestic Workers Alliance, USA

Raphaël Pradeau, spokesperson Attac France

Varshini Prakash, executive director Sunrise Movement, USA

Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, WWF Global Climate and Energy Practice Leader, Peru

Ingo Ritz, director, Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP)

Mary Robinson, president of the Mary Robinson Foundation: Climate Justice, and the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Change, Ireland

Mark Ruffalo, actor, USA

Takayuki Tsujii, General Manager, Patagonia Japan

Peter Sarsgaard, actor, USA

Dr. Vandana Shiva, scholar, environmental activist, India

Harjeet Singh, Global Lead on Climate Change, Action Aid International, India

Rebecca Solnit, writer, USA

Professor Will Steffen, climate scientist, Australia

Gus Speth, former director United Nations Development Programme, co-founder Natural Resources Defense Council, USA

Tom Steyer, founder and president NextGen America, USA

Chris Taylor, Comedian, Australia

Terry Tempest-Williams, writer in residence, Harvard Divinity School, USA

Aurélie Trouvé, economist, Attac, France

Joe Uehlein, Board Chair and Founding President, Labor Network for Sustainability

Sheila Watt-Cloutier, International Chair for Inuit Circumpolar Council, Canada

Farhana Yamin, International Lawyer and XR Political Team Coordinator, UK

Rev. Lennox Yearwood, president of the Hip Hop Caucus, USA