Climate Activists Report

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    Climate Activists Report

    Not only is it important to compare business energy rates to ensure you get the best deal, but it’s also vital to consider the source of energy you choose. Burning fossil fuels to source electricity for business and personal use is a major cause of global warming, which is quickly having a damaging effect on our planet.

    This has resulted in the formation of organisations such as Just Stop Oil and Extinction Rebellion, which aim to encourage urgent action from political parties around the world. They do this through marches, protests, and, in more extreme circumstances, vandalism and disruption.

    With this in mind, we wanted to know which countries are leading the fight against climate change. We’ve looked at the number of strikes and people attending them in developed countries around the world, as well as the UK cities most interested in joining activist organisations.

    More climate strikes occur in Sweden than in any other country, with over 100 per million people

    One of the best ways of protesting against climate change is through organised strikes. Strikes are a great way of rallying people together to spread awareness, encourage people to join your protest and pressure the government to make a change.

    The top 10 countries with the most strikes

    1. Sweden – 107.3 strikes per million people

    Taking the top spot is Sweden, with 107.3 strikes per million people. Sweden is a global leader in reducing the impact of climate change. Between 1990 and 2021, Sweden reduced its carbon emissions by 33%, and by 2030, it aims to reduce its emissions by 70% compared to 2010. Sweden is also the homeland of 20-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg, founder of Fridays for Future, a movement which organises school strikes so that children can take part in climate protests. Thunberg’s movement is perhaps part of the reason why Sweden ranks so highly on this list.

    2. Austria – 68.9 strikes per million people

    Austria takes second place, with almost 70 million strikes per million people. In November 2022, climate change activists – from the organisation Last Generation Austria – targeted a painting by Gustav Klimt called Death and Life held in Vienna’s Leopold Museum. Activists threw a black oily substance on the painting to protest Austria’s gas and oil drilling.

    3. Iceland – 56.0 strikes per million people

    Our top three is completed by Iceland, with 56 strikes per million people. By 2030, Iceland aims to reduce its carbon emissions by 40%, with the hope of being carbon neutral in 2040. In Iceland, hydro and geothermal energy provide most of its heating and electricity. Iceland also has great potential for carbon uptake with afforestation and revegetation.

    Germany has more strikers than any other country, with almost 52,000 strikers per million people

    Having a large number of strikers in a country can increase awareness and political pressure. It can also encourage more people to strike, which can have a snowball effect in implementing change.

    The top 10 countires with the most strikers

    1. Germany – 51,592 strikers per million people

    Taking the top spot is Germany, with more than 51,000 strikers per million people. Germany had the seventh-highest number of strikes in total, as well as the highest number of strikers in total. However, these strikes have become more disruptive, causing the government to crack down on climate protests as the police use techniques often used to fight organised crime.

    2. Austria – 50,618 strikers per million people

    Austria takes second place with just over 50,000 strikers per million people. Between 2005 and 2019, emissions fell by 12%, and the country’s renewable energy share increased from 24.4% to 33.6%. Austria aims to increase this to 50% by 2030, targeting carbon neutrality by 2040.

    3. New Zealand – 47,126 strikers per million people

    Completing our top three is New Zealand, with just over 47,000 strikers per million people. In 2019, New Zealand declared its target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, other than biogenic methane, to zero. In addition to this, it aims to reduce its biogenic methane emissions by 10% by 2030 and between 24% and 27% by 2050.

    Luxembourg has the biggest strike turnouts, with an average of 4,000 people attending each strike

    Striking regularly is important. However, attracting a large group of people for those strikes can be the catalyst to provoke change. Below, we reveal the countries with the biggest strikes.

    The top 20 countries with the biggest strike turnouts

    1. Luxembourg – 4,000 people per strike

    Taking the top spot is Luxembourg, with an average of 4,000 people per strike. Luxembourg is home to Mouvement Écologique, which campaign, protest, and carry out projects to help tackle climate change. Luxembourg is also home to a division of Youth for Climate – a group who skip school demanding urgent political action against climate change.

    2. New Zealand – 2,832 people per strike

    New Zealand takes second place, with just under 3,000 people per strike. New Zealand is the birthplace of Lucy Gray, a national chairperson for School Strike 4 Climate, who was born in 2006. School Strike 4 Climate, otherwise known as Fridays for Future, is a movement of school students who skip Friday classes to participate in demonstrations and protests against climate change.

    3. Switzerland – 2,721 people per strike

    Our top three is completed by Switzerland, with just over 2,700 people per strike. In Switzerland, environmentalists and scientists have been campaigning against the country’s melting glaciers, arguing that if greenhouse gases are not reduced, they could vanish completely. Since then, the Swiss People’s Party passed a climate law which aims to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

    London was the most popular UK city to strike in, with 131,000 people attending protests.

    Strikes can happen anywhere, and passionate environmentalists will travel all over the UK to help encourage change. Below, we reveal the UK cities gaining the most protesters for strikes and protests.

    The top 10 most popular UK cities to strike

    1. London – 131,047 protesters attending strikes

    Taking the top spot is London, with just over 130,000 protesters joining climate protests. The UK capital is a hotspot for protests, whether that be marches or demonstrations. In October, protesters gathered outside of JP Morgan’s headquarters in Canary Wharf, with Greta Thunberg among them.

    2. Manchester – 100,852 protesters attending strikes

    In second place is Manchester, with more than 100,000 protesters joining climate protests. Just Stop Oil and Extinction Rebellion are two of the main organisations arranging strikes in Manchester. As well as marches, protests have included blocking traffic, which has led to multiple arrests.

    3. Edinburgh – 34,100 protesters attending strikes

    Edinburgh completes our top three, with just over 34,000 protesters joining climate protests. After the UK government announced 100 new oil and gas exploration licenses, hundreds of activists marched the streets of Edinburgh to call for these to be cancelled. The demonstration was organised by Friends of the Earth Scotland, Extinction Rebellion, and Greenpeace, with the route taking them past UK government offices to the Scottish Parliament.

    People in Manchester search for climate activist opportunities more than any other city in the UK, with almost 100 searches per 100,000 people

    To find out which cities had the most interest in joining climate protests and activist groups, we delved into search data to reveal the hotspots for climate activist opportunities.

    The top 10 countries with the most searches for climate activist opportunities

    1. Manchester – 98.61 searches for climate activist opportunities per 100,000 people

    Manchester takes the top spot, with almost 100 searches for climate activist opportunities per 100,000 people. Manchester had a total of 390 searches in the last four years, and joining Extinction Rebellion was the most searched-for opportunity in Manchester.

    2. Edinburgh – 79.57 searches for climate activist opportunities per 100,000 people

    In second place is Edinburgh, with almost 80 searches for climate activist opportunities per 100,000 people. In the last four years, there were a total of 370 searches for climate activist opportunities, with the idea of joining Extinction Rebellion being the most popular opportunity.

    3. Leeds – 76.90 searches for climate activist opportunities per 100,000 people

    Our top three is completed by Leeds, with up to 77 Google searches for climate activist opportunities per 100,000 people. In total, there were 350 searches for climate activist opportunities in Leeds, with joining Extinction Rebellion being the most popular opportunity. Leeds was also the fourth most popular city for climate strikes to take place.

    Methodology

    For this campaign, we used Future for Fridays to find the number of strikes per country, then the number of people attending these strikes per country, and the number of strikes per UK City. The data from Future for Fridays shows figures between 30/11/2018 and 03/03/2023.

    We then used World Population Review to get the population for each country. Using this, we normalised the data to show the figures per 1 million people.

    Countries with a population below 100,000 were removed from the data. Russia, Oman, Bahamas, and Belarus were also removed from due to insufficient data.

    We used Google Keyword Planner to find the total number of searches between October 2019 and September 2023 for the following search terms.

    • “Climate protest near me”
    • “Join extinction rebellion”
    • “Join just stop oil”

    We used World Population Review to find the 30 most populous cities in the UK to create a seeding list of cities to find data. Islington and the City of Westminster were removed from the seeding list due to the unavailability of data on Keyword Planner. We replaced these two cities with the next most populous cities.

    We used World Population Review for the populations of each UK city to normalise the data to show figures per 100,000 people.

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